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Mercyhurst celebrates Christmas miracle

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

File Photo: 'Miracle on 38th Street' 2014

Nearly 35 children from local social service agencies will visit the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union at Mercyhurst University on Monday, Dec. 7, between 3:15 and 5:30 p.m. for the annual “Miracle on 38th Street,” coordinated by the Campus Involvement Center, Multicultural Affairs, Service Learning and Campus Ministry offices.

In addition, this weekend the North East campus will host nearly 100 children from the surrounding community for its annual “Christmas on Campus” celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Miller Hall and the Student Union. Both holiday events have become popular Mercyhurst traditions.

Each child visiting the Erie campus is paired with a Mercyhurst student “buddy” to lead him or her through the Christmas festivities, including games, storytelling and arts and crafts, sponsored by many of university’s Registered Student Clubs and Organizations. Participating RSCOs include Mercyhurst Student Government, Student Activities Council, Multicultural Activities Council, Alpha Phi Sigma, Kappa Delta Pi, Fashion Council, Phi Eta Sigma, Circle K, Anthropology Club and Pre-Health Society. The children will also enjoy snacks, presents, a visit from Santa and a reading of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.

“Mercyhurst’s Miracle on 38th Street is a tradition students and staff look forward to every year,” said Preston Reilly, activities and spirit coordinator. “It is a unique service opportunity that brings the Erie community on campus. With it happening the Monday before final exams begin, it gives the students a nice break from studying and allows them to give back to their community.”

Reilly credited student chair Heather Shadle, a junior hospitality major, for taking the lead in organizing this year’s event.

At North East, Christmas on Campus is a college-wide event involving faculty and staff as well as hospitality students, who cook and help decorate; service learning classes that volunteer to engage children in activities; and the Student Government Association, among others. Children are treated to festivities like cookie-decorating, a sing-a-long, a visit with Santa and gifts. Special thanks to Christmas on Campus Coordinator Rachel Pacholke and Director of Residence Life Michelle Simpson.