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SMC for the Spectrum hosts cornhole tournament to support club, local organizations

| Monday, November 15, 2021

SMC for the Spectrum hosted a cornhole tournament fundraiser Friday afternoon in the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex. Contestants paid to participate, then formed teams and lined up across the field house to compete. The tournament was in fact originally planned to be outside but was moved inside the field house due to cold weather. 

Liam Price | The Observer
Saint Mary’s students participated in a cornhole tournament in Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex Friday afternoon to support SMC for the Spectrum and local organizations.

Half of the money raised will be donated to the Logan Center in South Bend, with the other half being used to aid the club in its activities throughout the year. 

The club aims to host seasonal activities throughout the year.

“We chose cornhole because we figured that it would be a fun fall event,” senior club president Molly Heath said. 

Heath emphasized the desire to host activities outside the traditional classroom setting.

“We especially wanted to have a fall event other than just having a club meeting in a classroom,” Heath said. 

SMC for the Spectrum was founded during the pandemic in 2020 by members of Saint Mary’s Masters of Autism Studies program. The club aims to “educate students about autism spectrum disorder, create an accepting culture at Saint Mary’s and to provide support for the autistic community,” Heath said. 

The club is excited to help at local centers and organizations this year after having volunteer opportunities restricted by the pandemic. 

“We weren’t allowed to do much due to not being able to go out and do anything and not being able to go visit,” Heath said. “So, this year, our goals are to get out to LOGAN, go help at Reins of Life, Hannah and Friends and just be there in their communities and donate to them.” 

The Logan Center supports people with disabilities to help elevate their quality of life. One of the founders of the club, Anna Mullek, worked at the Center, helping to form a relationship with the club. Both Reins of Life and Hannah and Friends are non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Reins of Life focuses on providing therapeutic horseback-riding. 

Club vice-president Emily Jezek mentioned the 5K run the club is planning on hosting in the spring 2022 semester.

“We’ve been planning it for a while, so we’re hoping to have a big [turnout at] it,” she said. 

Jezek is a double master’s student at Saint Mary’s getting her master’s in autism studies and speech pathology. As an undergraduate, she was a behavioral therapist for kids with autism and feels the club is an outlet to teach others about autism.

“There is a lot of negative stigma around autism and disabilities in general, just because there’s definitely a lack of education and knowledge,” Jezek said. “This is not something that needs to be looked down upon.”

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