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Members enjoy benefits of Minnesota Club

Katie McCarty | Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Annie Plachta, a sophomore and co-vice president of the Minnesota Club at Notre Dame, has a hard time deciding what her favorite thing is about her home state.

She can start, however, with the strong Minnesota presence on campus at Notre Dame. The Minnesota Club is one of only four state clubs on campus and has roughly 250 to 300 members.

“The club puts on a lot of really great events,” Plachta said. “We work with the Minnesota Alumni Club every August to put together the freshman send-off, so pretty much everyone that attends that is already in the club.”

This year’s freshman class from Minnesota is the largest in history. 81 freshmen came to campus this August from the state.

“We just put on fun events, and try to have an event every month or so,” Plachta said.

The club puts on the annual “Flannel Formal” in the early spring semester every year, collaborating with the Texas Club to host the event. Other events planned include a Minnesota Night at the Compton Family Ice Arena, in which the club will attend a hockey game.

“The club is all about spreading ‘Minnesota Nice,'” Plachta said. “During finals week we organize goody bags for our members. We fill the bags with Frappuccino coupons and candy bars, for example, and deliver them door to door.”

The club hosted an event last Thursday called the Northern Lights 5K run. Runners were given glow sticks and completed the run completely in the dark. The proceeds went to orphanages and promoted education for children in Africa, a cause advocated by another club officer.

“We had about 50 people come out, which was great considering it was the first year we have had the event,” Plachta said. “We are hoping it will grow over the next few years.”

Another perk of being a part of the Minnesota Club includes a strong connection to the Minnesota Alumni Club. The alumni and campus clubs “have a really good connection,” Palchta said.

“They provide a bus home for fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring breaks, and they also sponsor tailgates for us. Anyone is allowed to come,” she said.

In addition to connecting to students during their four years here, the Minnesota Alumni Club also provides a unique opportunity to members through the Go IRISH program. This program is designed to help members connect with jobs and internships. Members submit an application to one source and their application circulates to various offices around the Twin Cities area.

“The program is a great resource for our members,” Plachta said. “The best part of the club is meeting other Minnesotans. We have a special bond and love putting on events that make Minnesotans feel almost like they are back home.”

As for club membership, Plachta said that it is open to anyone who wants to join as well as anyone who wants to celebrate their love for Minnesota.

“You don’t necessarily have to be from Minnesota,” she said.