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Saint Mary’s Student Activities Board hosts winter event for local kids

| Friday, November 30, 2018

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and the Saint Mary’s Student Activities Board (SAB) is kicking off the holiday season by hosting an event for the community.

On Saturday, SAB will host its annual Winter Wonderland event. The two-part event is designed for children in the community in the morning and Saint Mary’s students in the afternoon.

The morning will consist of Christmas and winter-themed crafts, games and cookie decorating. Additionally, no Christmas event is complete without a visit from Santa. In addition to committee members of SAB, many members from the Notre Dame football, baseball and lacrosse teams volunteer to support the event each year.

“They are role models to the kids, so it is good for these kids to see people they can look up to,” Sarah Law, a senior and chair of the Traditional Events Committee for SAB, said.

The event is a hit with both children and Saint Mary’s students, alike. Zoie Clay, a senior and the president of SAB, said she looked forward to volunteering at Winter Wonderland every year.

“This my favorite event we do all year,” she said. “My absolute favorite part is the kids — it is so great to see their faces light up and have fun with no worries for two hours. It is an awesome feeling knowing that I contributed to their joy.”

Law shared similar sentiments.

“There is nothing better than seeing how excited the kids get,” she said. “Especially when they are walking around with their goodie bags and lined up to see Santa.”

Giving back to the community is a fundamental piece of this event, Clay said.

“I think it’s important, as a college community, to give back to the greater South Bend community and to give something really good,” she said.

The kids that are invited to attend Winter Wonderland range from faculty and staff’s children to kids from the Early Childhood Development Center to students from local low-income elementary schools.

“We are so lucky to be at a school where our faculty and staff continually go above and beyond for us, so when they bring their kids to the event it is just a small token of our appreciation,” Clay said.

Law said Winter Wonderland is “a good way to incorporate the community into the event and get the word out about Saint Mary’s at the same time.”

Many families choose to return annually to the event and it is offered completely free of charge.

“Winter Wonderland allows community members’ kids that otherwise wouldn’t be able to go to an event like this the chances to have some Christmas joy in their lives,” Clay said.

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