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Hoop-a-Thon raises funds

| Thursday, February 6, 2014

A hip-shaking Hoop-a-Thon at the State Theater in South Bend on Friday will benefit the Girls’ Summer Club, a day camp Saint Mary’s junior Sarah Hossfeld intiated last summer, according to Annie Eaton, assistant director of assessment and education in the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education at Notre Dame.

Eaton said she decided to organize a fundraiser after hearing on the news about the camp Hossfeld started at St. Margaret’s House, a day center for women. The idea of the Hoop-a-Thon came out of Eaton’s own love of hula hooping and passion for working with girls, she said.

“I have always had a place in my heart for adolescent girls and their struggles,” Eaton said. “When I saw the news [on the Girls’ Summer Club] it just felt right.

“I had no start-up money to organize the fundraiser and so everything that will happen that night came out of the good hearts of those involved.”

Hossfeld said she received a grant in the summer of 2013 as a student intern to start the Girls’ Summer Club for the daughters of women at St. Margaret’s House, but this summer the funding is uncertain.

“We are hoping that [the Hoop-a-Thon] can help us start raising the funds that are necessary to keep the program running and to let us do some really fun things,” Hossfeld said.

The idea behind the Girls’ Summer Club was to build the girls’ self-esteem in a variety of ways, Hossfeld said.

“I initially wanted to do Girls’ Club so that we could talk about things like body image, healthy eating habits and self esteem because I believe that these are very prevalent problems in woman of all ages,” Hossfeld said. “I also think addressing these topics young can help girls to have positive ideas.”

Hossfeld said the program incorporated having fun and learning about issues the girls are facing in a way that encouraged the girls to enjoy coming to the Girls’ Summer Club and making friends.

“The girls made journals so that they could have a positive outlet for their feelings,” Hossfeld said. “We did things on body image such as the Barbie project and compared the dimensions of what Barbie would be if she was real, and how that compares to our bodies.”

Eaton said she hopes students will realize the value in the Girls’ Summer Club and come join in the hula hooping fun.

“I hope that we get a good student turnout to support the event, hoop and have fun,” Eaton said.

Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame students should attend the Hoop-a-Thon to support the local community, Hossfeld said.

“I think it is very easy to get caught in the SMC and ND bubble and forget about the community around us,” she said. “Just down the street there are families who are struggling to put food on the table or provide essential daily things for themselves or their children.

“It would be a great experience for people to come out and meet these wonderful women and their daughters. Plus all of the money goes to a good cause.”

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

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