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Welsh Fam hosts ‘fiesta’ on quad

Robert Singer | Thursday, September 11, 2008

Spurning their usual location on West Quad and introducing a theme for the first time, the Welsh Family Block Party organizers decided to head “south.”

They put on their sombreros and threw a “Fiesta” on South Quad for three hours Wednesday night.

As music blared, partygoers were entertained by an array of carnival games. An inflatable obstacle course and fun house, free pizza, chips and salsa, balloon darts, volley ball, wiffle ball and a ping pong toss for the chance to win a gold fish were among the attractions. In addition, an iPod shuffle was raffled off and T-shirts were sold.

Wednesday’s Fiesta was the highlight of Welsh Family Hall’s spirit week, which has traditionally been an effort to boost hall pride and raise money for a worthy cause. In years past, the event has raised donations for Hurricane Katrina victims and for schools in third world countries.

Dorm president Tara Schimpf said earlier events this week have included yoga, dorm breakfasts, s’mores and an after-mass social.

Block Party co-commissioner Lauren Cooney explained the change in location and addition of a theme.

“We’re just trying to switch it up this year,” she said, “To make it more accessible to Notre Dame students, we wanted to make sure everybody had a chance to come.”

Proceeds from the event will be sent to the Touching Tiny Lives Foundation, which is committed to fighting AIDS and expanding care in rural parts of Southern Africa. The University has a special relationship with the Foundation, as the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh Initiative supports the overall mission and strategic plan of Touching Tiny Lives. The Initiative encourages the Notre Dame community to join the cause by sponsoring research, service and internship programs abroad.

By every indication, Welsh Family’s event was a success.

“We are very thankful for the great turnout this year,” sophomore Dennise Martinez said.

Sophomore Jordan Heldrich also attended.

“It really showed us how much the Notre Dame student body cares about issues affecting humanity abroad,” Heldrich said.

More than 300 people attended the party throughout the night and event organizers believe close to $1,000 was raised for the Touching Tiny Lives Foundation.

“The party was a very big success this year,” Block Party co-commissioner Meghan Manning said. “We had a good turnout and everyone was excited to help our cause.”