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Stadium stair climb to benefit military-connected students

| Friday, April 26, 2019

Notre Dame’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs will host its second Storm the Stadium event Saturday to benefit the University’s military men and women with a day of stair climbing and other festivities on the field.

Regan Jones, director of Military and Veteran Affairs, said the proceeds will benefit Notre Dame’s military-connected students — a term used to describe those on active duty, service veterans, ROTC students and their families.

“The purpose of the event is to honor the men and women that bravely serve our nation in uniform, to engage the community in a family fun event, and then the money raised will support the military and veteran students on campus, the veterans fund, and it goes towards scholarships, fellowships, for those students,” he said.

Designing the event for those interested in a fitness challenge and people who just want to spend time with their community, Jones said they worked to make the event accessible for all ages.

Participants can choose from three different course options, a virtual climb and a family-fun zone on the field. The long course will move through each of the Stadium’s 72 sections with 36 in the lower bowl and 36 in the upper bowl, amounting to just under 3,600 steps. For those looking to stair-climb for a shorter period of time, the path of the short course will stay in the upper bowl of the stadium. Additionally, a stadium walk will take place for people interested in walking on a late course between the lower and upper bowls.

“We wanted the opportunity to challenge people to be able to do all the steps, but we also wanted to make it accessible for folks who aren’t interested in in the steps,” Jones said.

The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs held Storm the Stadium for the first time July 4 last summer, but Jones said they decided to hold the event while classes were still in session to encourage student involvement.

Former Navy SEAL and current sophomore Brian Duffy said he attended the event this past summer with his wife and daughter and completed the long course.

“I thought it was humbling seeing everyone come out and support the military,” Duffy said.

He stressed the importance of providing funds and assistance to veterans who have sacrificed their safety, their time away from their families and their lives to our country.

“Their sacrifices protect the freedoms everyone living in the United States enjoy,” Duffy said.

Junior Sammie Escamilla, who works as a student intern for the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, helped organize the event and said she looks to Storm the Stadium to garner support for military-connected students like her.

“A lot of people might not know that I’m a military-connected student,” she said. “My dad has been in the Marine Corps for over 25 years, and it’s not something that comes up in everyday conversation, so people might not know that about me. But this event is a great opportunity for people to support military-connected students they know and those who they don’t know.”

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About Serena Zacharias

Serena is a member of the class of 2021 majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. She hails from the great cheese state of Wisconsin and is a former ND News Editor for The Observer.

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