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Students in kilts fundraise for Ronald McDonald House Charities

| Tuesday, September 15, 2015

If you’re looking for a good conversation starter, senior Michael Lindt suggests wearing a kilt.

Lindt and fellow senior Benjamin Brockman have been sporting kilts around campus to raise awareness for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

kiltsCourtesy of Kelsey Sullivan

“It’s the best way to start a conversation independently and say, ‘Hey can I tell you why I’m looking really stupid in a kilt today?’ And people are more likely to say ‘OK, what’s going on,’’ Lindt said.

The two are participating in the Men in Kilts Campaign, a fundraiser where participants compete to raise money for the Michiana branch of the charity. This is the first year the duo has participated in the event, Lindt said. It is also the first time any Notre Dame student has participated in the event.

The pair has been fundraising since school started, Lindt said. So far, they have held fundraisers at Five Guys and O’Rourkes on Eddy Street.  They will continue to fundraise through Oct. 1, when the competition ends. In the upcoming weeks, the pair is planning to solicit donations at tailgates for the Georgia Tech and UMass games, as well as fundraise during Trivia Night at O’Rourke’s on Sept. 28.

For those who can’t make it to those events, Lindt said people can also donate online by going to meninkilts.org and donating to Brockman and Lindt’s team.

Dubbed “The Dueling Irishman,” the pair has raised approximately $750 thus far, Lindt said. Brockman said the pair is hoping to double or triple that number by the end of the campaign.

“Notre Dame people are super generous, so hopefully we can scrounge up some cash and donate it to a really great cause,” Brockman said.

According to the Ronald McDonald House’s website, all proceeds from the campaign will be used to provide meals and housing for families of seriously ill or injured children when the children have extended stays at the hospital.

Lindt said he and Brockman joined the campaign after being asked to participate by a friend who interned with Ronald McDonald House.

“She asked if we wanted to participate and we said absolutely, we have no shame, we’d be happy to run around in kilts,” Lindt said.

However, Lindt said after becoming more involved in the campaign, it’s become less about the kilts and more about the impact of the charity.

“Wearing a kilt is very freeing. It has a good flow. You’ve got to love it,” Brockman said. “But, honestly, it’s just, knowing you do look ridiculous, but knowing what it’s for makes it all worth it. These kids deserve it more than us maintaining our dignity, so it’s a lot of fun.”

All the participants in the campaign had to spend time in the hospital ward with the children. This gives the participants a better idea of what the charity does and helps them become more passionate about the cause, Lindt said.

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