Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Student-Athletes Celebrate 21st Annual Pediatric Christmas Party

Dec. 14, 2017 Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

By Joe Sibley

Last week the University of Notre Dame’s Student Welfare and Development department hosted its annual Pediatric Christmas Party. It was an opportunity for area children dealing with severe illnesses to have some fun and spend time with their favorite Irish student-athletes.

All varsity sports were represented as families were invited to participate in holiday-themed activities run by the student-athletes. The roles of Santa, Mrs. Claus and several elves were also played by student-athletes.

“It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community and it’s a chance to put aside the stress from final exams and realize there are others who are struggling with much bigger problems,” said Katie Uhler, a senior on the Notre Dame women’s soccer team.

Many Fighting Irish Fight for Life teammates were also in attendance and were able to spend time with their respective teams.

“It’s awesome to see the progression of our teammate Collin over the short amount of time he’s been with our team,” said Nicholas Hanahan, a senior on the Irish men’s fencing team. “At first, he didn’t want to leave his parents’ side, and by the end he was off getting face-painted by the fencers.”

The event is only one night, but the impact can last all year for both the kids and the student-athletes.

“I really cherish this event every year because it’s an opportunity to interact with these kids who are the real heroes of our community,” said Mikey Wynne a senior on the Irish men’s lacrosse team. “We can get down on ourselves after coming out of a tough exam or a tough practice, but seeing what these kids are dealing with on a daily basis really puts things in perspective.”