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Welsh Family Hall plans country-inspired fundraiser

and | Thursday, October 10, 2019

Part of South Quad will be transformed into a rustic landscape Thursday as Welsh Family Hall presents its second-annual Hoedown Throwdown. The event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature a variety of games and food including apple cider, donuts and kettle corn. 

All proceeds from the Throwdown will benefit St. Marianne Cope Young Women’s Education Project, a foundation that helps women in Dhaka, Bangladesh receive higher education and enter the workforce.

Sophomore Morgan McLaughlin, Welsh Family special events co-commissioner, said Welsh Family Hall wants all dorms to participate in the event.

“We have mechanical bull riding, and we’re getting a hall representative from each dorm to participate in a [mechanical bull riding] competition,” she said. “So we’re kind of getting all the halls excited and involved, and then we have a trophy and a gift card for the final winner.”

Entrance into the event is $5, and with an additional donation of $3, attendees can ride the mechanical bull.

Junior Maegan Rose Dolan, Welsh Family Hall president, said the success of last year’s Throwdown has motivated the dorm to establish the festival as an annual event.

“This was a new event for our dorm last year, and it was the brainchild of our president last year,” Dolan said. “It actually won best new event on campus last year, so we’re excited to see it flourish again this year.”

In hopes of attracting more students to the Throwdown, student-led country line dancing will be an addition to this year’s activities.

McLaughlin said she hopes the Hoedown Throwdown will become Welsh Family’s signature dorm event. 

“Obviously, every dorm wants to have a signature event that’s really successful and lots of people know about it, so we’re every year trying to slowly build that up and create a name for ourselves through this event, while also helping a really great cause,” she said. 

The mission of St. Marianne Cope Women’s Young Women’s Education Project resonates with Welsh Family Hall residents, McLaughlin said.

“It’s just something that we’re all super passionate about, since we are able to go to Notre Dame as women, too,” McLaughlin said. “We’re super grateful for this opportunity and we’re trying to help other women across the world have the same opportunity to pursue their own education and professional degrees.” 

Last year, Welsh Family raised about $2,500 for St. Marianne Cope Women’s Project, Dolan said. Dolan expressed her hope that this year’s Throwdown will be even more successful. 

“I think we are really just trying to aim higher this year, and just keep increasing,” Dolan said. “We’re just hoping to make an impact.”

McLaughlin said preparations for the Throwdown have strengthened the sense of community in Welsh Family Hall.

“I know lots of people in my committee are super excited about doing the chalk outside the dining hall or handing out posters,” she said. “All the different committees and just people in the dorm in general who aren’t on hall council either are planning to go to the event or want to help in some way.”

To its residents, the Welsh Family Hall community is like a real family, freshman resident Cassie Kronenberger said.

“I just really love how everybody puts 100% of their effort into Welsh Fam,” Kronenberger said. “Everyone wants [Welsh Family Hall] to have a positive impact on the Notre Dame campus.” 

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