There will be holiday cheer aplenty when Mercyhurst Student Government collaborates with more than 15 other campus organizations and the Mercyhurst community on Saturday, Dec. 13, to celebrate “Christmas on Campus” with about 100 underprivileged children from the Erie community.
Between 1 and 4 p.m., dozens of students from Mercyhurst will fill the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union with holiday decorations and Christmas excitement for area children brought to the campus for the day.
Each young visitor is paired with a Mercyhurst student “buddy” and can play holiday games, create their own Christmas crafts, enjoy sports activities and visit with Santa. At the end of the day, the children gather in the student union’s Great Room together to hear the telling of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” as read by English professor Barry McAndrew, while enjoying milk and cookies. Following their snack, the youngsters will open their presents from Santa Claus.
The entire Mercyhurst community supports the annual Christmas on Campus event, from student volunteers who work that day to students and employees who donate funds, time and gifts in the weeks prior to the event.
Anne Siegel organized this year’s event with the help of co-chair Kelly Rose Duttine and a committee of 15 other students. Penny Hanes, associate professor of accounting, and Cass Shimek, associate dean of student development, are staff advisers for the event.
Organizations sponsoring activities during Christmas on Campus include: the Music Educators National Conference, Circle K (Kiwanis), Beta Beta Beta (Biology Honor Society), Alpha Pi Sigma (Criminal Justice Honor Society), Diversity 101, the Fashion Merchandising Club, Criminal Justice Club, the Gay/Straight Alliance, the Mercyhurst Lakers football, baseball, and rowing teams, and the Council for Exceptional Children. The American Society of Interior Design will be handling the decorations for the student union.
Participation is by invitation-only, a cooperative effort with community service agencies throughout Erie who match needy children with the Mercyhurst Christmas on Campus program. The day’s event is not open to the public, but media are welcome.