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Stadium will host relief effort

| Friday, September 16, 2005

Notre Dame’s largest Hurricane Katrina relief effort will take place Saturday during the highly anticipated first home football game of the season. Between the first and second quarters of the Michigan State game, student volunteers will disperse throughout the stadium, pass around buckets and collect donations from the more than 80,000 fans, said Aly Baumgartner, student coordinator of the Stadium Collection.Since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, the Notre Dame community has come together to aid relief efforts. In the days following the tragedy, the Center for Social Concerns hosted various aid events, a student government-run table in LaFortune collected donations and individual dorms collected money from student residents. “The willingness of the Notre Dame student body to come to the aid of those in need is readily apparent,” student body president Dave Baron said. The Stadium Collection is the most sizable Katrina event organized by the University, reaching beyond Notre Dame’s staff and students and extending to alumni and other fans.Discussion for the Stadium Collection began in the University’s administrative circles, but it became apparent that the student body had the numbers to execute such and event. Student Government took over the collection, calling for and training student volunteers to partake in the massive effort, Baumgartner said.Baumgartner said the response from students has been tremendous. Approx-imately 350 student volunteers were needed to successfully collect from the stadium, and nearly 475 offered their help. Volunteers attended a short informational session earlier this week to learn details of their job, Baumgartner said. On Saturday, volunteers will wear bright red T-shirts and proceed to their assigned rows shortly before the end of the first quarter. The collection will proceed only between the first and second quarters, and the money will then be taken to the Notre Dame Security/Police Building to be sorted and counted. Organizers hope the total will be announced before the end of the game. Baumgartner said a similar Stadium Collection took place after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and raised nearly $275,000. Student government hopes the crowd at Saturday’s game gives as generously as it did four years ago.