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Belles create holiday cheer

Stephanie O'Sullivan | Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Students and faculty will be able to celebrate Christmas with members of the South Bend community through crafts, food and movies at Saint Mary’s Winter Wonderland on Dec. 1. Senior Megan Woodring, co-chair of the Traditional Board within the Student Activities Board (SAB), said Winter Wonderland is an opportunity to combine service and celebration

“Winter Wonderland is a really good reminder of what the holiday season is all about, which is giving back and giving to others,” Woodring said.

The Traditional Board and Co-Campus, a group with representatives from other area universities, have worked together to plan holiday activities for the event, SAB president senior Liz Kraig said.

“There will be crafts, like making Christmas trees out of cones and making snow out of cotton balls,” Kraig said. “People can also take pictures with Santa or decorate their own cookies. I think we’ll also be showing Christmas movies in Vander Vennet, but most of the events will be held in the Student Center so the people can participate in as much as they want.”

Woodring said she believes Santa Claus will be a big draw this year.

“Talking with Santa will probably be the most popular activity. The kids get really excited,” Woodring said. “We have our event really early in December and for most of them, it’s the first time they get to see Santa during the holiday season, so it gets them excited for the rest of the season.”

Senior Elizabeth Robbins, co-chair of the Traditional Board, said the biggest difference between this year’s event and last year’s Winter Wonderland is the involvement of Co-Campus. Kraig said the partnership with Co-Campus enables more students to get involved with Winter Wonderland.

“Last year, there were a bunch of activities around South Bend for the families in the community that we didn’t really get involved with,” Kraig said. “This year, students can directly be involved with the community and get into the spirit.”
Robbins said she expects about 150 families to participate in this year’s Winter Wonderland, which is double the amount of families that attended last year.

So far, 15 organizations on campus have signed up to help with the event, including Education Club, Rotaract and Bellacapella. Woodring said the organizers of Winter Wonderland hope to publicize the event by sending flyers to local community groups.

“We’re going to have flyers distributed to the Robinson Community [Learning] Center, the Center for the Homeless and the South Bend schools,” Woodring said. “Also, we’ll be sending emails out to the faculty and staff here because this is also an event for them and their families.”

To volunteer for Winter Wonderland contact participating organizations. The event will take place Dec. 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Student Center.