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SMC athletics hosts holiday craft event

Lizziey Brown | Monday, December 8, 2008

Saint Mary’s hosted its annual Holiday Party for Children in the Angela Athletic Facility on Sunday.

The event, hosted by the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) in conjunction with the Athletic Department, was held for children and families of the Saint Mary’s community, according to a College press release.

The children who attended the event made crafts and participated in other events.

Six of the College’s athletic teams, about 100 students, participated, decked out in reindeer antlers, Santa hats and jingle bells.

“I really enjoy the holiday party every year,” said Nicole Beier, senior basketball player and committee chair of this year’s party, in the College’s press release. “It is a great opportunity to give back to the families of Saint Mary’s that support us in the classroom, across campus, and on the playing fields and courts.”

Student-athletes were waiting for the children and their families when they arrived, said senior Ashley Fusaro, a member of the softball team.

“We greeted everyone coming in,” she said, “And we had cookies and candy waiting for them.”

Various booths were set up along the walls, each offering a different craft and chocolate treats for the children.

Each individual team had its own booth with a craft for students, Fusaro said. Many different crafts were available, including jingle bell bracelets, stockings and ornaments.

The student-athletes, like Fusaro, worked with children on the crafts. She helped six-year-old Sydney Miller create a stocking ornament at the softball team’s booth.

“I’m on the softball team and she started with our craft,” Fusaro said, “We made ornaments to go on the tree.”

Fusaro and Miller also wore matching sweaters and so they took a picture together, she said.

Another participant, Jade O’Brien, 5-year-old daughter of Gwen O’Brien, director of Media relations at Saint Mary’s College, created a snowman that she named “Crystal.”

Freshman Arianne Rodriguez even implemented lessons learned from inside the classroom to create her craft. At the bottom of her craft she wrote “Feliz Navidad.”

The athletes also played sports with the children. Seniors Cathy Kurczak and Nicole Beier along with freshman Maddy Peterek were playing volleyball with a few of the attendees and even lowered the net so four-year-old Nineth Kanieski Koso could play.

Other students, like junior Patty Duffy, handed out goody bags to the children.

The event wasn’t just about the children, however, athletes got a chance to bond as well. They danced to the music, made their own crafts along side the children and their families, and were able to learn a little more about the people in their community.

“We entertained them for a while and spread some holiday cheer,” Fusaro said.