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Saint Mary’s hosts Winter Wonderland

Rebecca O'Neil | Sunday, December 4, 2011

South Bend may still be void of snow, but Saint Mary’s students welcomed children from across the community to a Winter Wonderland celebration Saturday.

The Student Activities Board (SAB) held the second annual holiday party in various locations around Saint Mary’s campus for underprivileged children aged five to 12. The children in attendance were mostly from Coquillard Primary Center, a Title I school the College collaborates with through tutoring programs.

In addition to the elementary school, Saint Mary’s extended the invitation this year to South Bend’s Center for the Homeless and Hope Ministries.

Over 20 different St. Mary’s clubs united to help create the seasonal spirit.

Junior Stefanie Schwab, SAB treasurer, said in a College press release that100 children, mostly from Coquillard, attended Winter Wonderland last year.

“It is exciting because we have 20 clubs participating in the event this year,” Schwab said. “The clubs range from the Student Diversity Board to cheerleading, and all bring something unique to the event. [The event is] a great opportunity for the students to interact with the kids and to give back to the community that we live in.”

The Around the World Club partnered with the History Club to host a table that created different crafts using candy canes, teaching the kids about how Christmas is celebrated in other countries.

The English Club gathered to read Christmas stories to the children from Coquillard.

Santa Clause sat on the bottom floor of the Student Center listening to children’s, as well as college students’, Christmas lists.

Sophomore Emily Murphy worked a shift with Santa Clause, helping children create picture frames for their photographs with Santa.

“They got their picture right away, which was nice. The [children] made the picture frame while the picture developed,” Murphy said. “I helped out with the glue gun because we didn’t want them to get hurt.”

Junior Megan Woodring, chair of SAB’s Traditional Events Committee, said in the press release that SMC Wonderland is one of the best events of the semester.  

“This event stands out because it brings everyone in the Saint Mary’s community together for one specific purpose: to give back during the holiday season,” Woodring said. “It gets everyone in the holiday spirit.”