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10th annual Notre Dame Day elicits donations

| Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The 10th annual Notre Dame Day, a two-day campus-wide fundraising bonanza, got rolling Tuesday evening at 6:42 p.m.

Over 900 student groups, residence halls, academic departments, alumni clubs and other causes compete in the global crowdfunding campaign, said Brandon Tabor, senior director of annual giving in the development department.

With more than 28,000 unique gifts last year, Notre Dame Day raised over $3 million. St. Edward’s Hall and Glee Club, 2022’s highest-grossing dorm and club, brought in about $42,000 and $28,000, respectively.

This year, during the annual Notre Dame Day broadcast, 29 cameras will be dispatched around campus. Tabor expects Notre Dame community members from close to 100 countries to tune into the program, which airs on the Notre Dame Day website.

Peter Breen | The Observer
The Glee Club performs live on the Notre Dame Day broadcast Tuesday evening in Duncan Student Center.

The star-studded broadcast schedule is broken into 124 segments, featuring current and former Fighting Irish athletes, live student performances and Notre Dame alumni of all stripes, including the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and a priest who built a 300,000-piece LEGO model of the Main Building.

“To broadcast for us is a way to engage all the Notre Dame family around the world, not just the people on campus,” Tabor said. “We want to highlight not just giving, but what Notre Dame means to the world and what people do in the name of Notre Dame.”

Sophomore Nalani Malackowski, a member of Notre Dame’s ultimate frisbee team, said Notre Dame Day funds ensure that the club remains accessible.

“This year, we traveled to Florida and North Carolina, and we have to take a bus which isn’t cheap,” Malackowski said. “Raising money for ND Day would be huge. It gives us an opportunity to keep our dues low because we want everyone to be able to play and cost not be a factor in that.”

Malackowski, a competitive high school athlete, said she joined the ultimate frisbee club on a whim during Activities Night.

“I like running. There’s running in it. So I just like picked it up and tried it,” Malackowski said. “[Due to] the team atmosphere on the first day of practice, I just fell in love and kept coming back.”

Now serving on the club’s social committee, Malackowski said the frisbee team has impacted her time at Notre Dame on and off the field.

“We have practice three days a week and workouts the other two days. It keeps you on a schedule for your academics, which was really important to me,” Malackowski said. “But honestly, the community is the most important part. It’s like 100 best friends that you get to go and play sports with, and I just love it.”

The 100-person ultimate club frisbee club is divided into four teams: A and B teams for both men and women. Malackowski said her team is currently ranked number one in the region.

“We have regionals coming up, the week before final exams, and if we make out of regionals, we’re going to qualify for nationals,” Malackowski said. “We have a good chance this year and want to be able to go if we make it.”

Peter Breen | The Observer
Fr. Bob Simon stands next to his in-progress model of the Golden Dome in Duncan Student Center, built out of approximately 300,000 LEGO pieces.

Morrissey Manor rector Zack Imfeld said in an email that his hall uses Notre Dame Day money to give Morrissey crewnecks to every first-year, offset the cost of the hall retreat and fund the dorm’s signature event, the Outdoor Gamewatch.

“The beauty of ND Day funds is that it gives hall leaders the chance to fund more initiatives or enhance traditions already in the hall,” Imfeld wrote.

On top of direct gifts from donors, causes have numerous opportunities to win a share of the $500,000 available in Notre Dame Day challenge and prize money, Tabor said.

“The biggest piece of that pie is the $250,000 Challenge Fund,” Tabor said. “If your cause receives a gift from a donor, you get a share of that fund. In the past, those shares have translated to [from $9 to $20 for each donation].”

For patrons who don’t know where to give, Tabor said Notre Dame Day recommends three causes that impact all students: financial aid, student experience and the Rockne Athletic Fund.

Tabor just wants to see people supporting the things they love here at Notre Dame, he added.

“If that’s the ultimate frisbee club, great. If you’re like, ‘I love my residence hall, I love my major, I love this club,’ do that,” Tabor said. “Somebody helped shape your experience here at Notre Dame. And it’s everyone’s responsibility, all of us, to help shape the next generation too.”

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About Peter Breen

Peter is an Associate News Editor for the 2023-2024 term. Feel welcome to contact him at [email protected] with feedback or story ideas.

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