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Stanford Benefit Bash fights poverty in Chile

Kevin Sarlo | Monday, April 27, 2009

Food, blue skies and about 750 people came together for the Stanford Benefit Bash on Friday, with proceeds going to the Holy Cross Missions in Chile, said Stanford Hall president Stu Jansen.

Warm temperatures allowed for an afternoon that included live bands, a whiffle ball tournament and an “Iron Grill” competition.

“This event was a great opportunity for everyone at Norte Dame to come together, support this charity and celebrate the end of the year,” Jansen said.

This is the 12th year Stanford Hall has hosted its signature event on North Quad to benefit Chilean orphanages through the Holy Cross Missions, said Jansen.

The Chilean mission is of particular interest to Stanford rector Father Tom Gaughan, said Jansen.

The Holy Cross Mission Center Web site dates their involvement in Chile to 1943.

“Today, the 23 Holy Cross religious in Chile minister in schools, in parishes, and in two orphanages,” according to the Web site.

According to the Web site, 21 percent of the Chilean population lives below the poverty line, but the Holy Cross Missions are working to improve the situation despite past opposition. The Missions’ activities were challenged in 1973 by the government of General Pinochet, but Holy Cross was allowed to continue its educational ministry in Chile.

Donations were raised for Holy Cross by entrance fees to the whiffle ball tournament, the “Iron Grill” cook-off and the sale of event T-shirts and donation buckets.

“It was a great time,” said freshman Adam Cowden. “I’ve never seen that many people on North Quad before.”