Oct. 8, 2012
To kick off the Monogram Club’s 2012-13 regional outreach initiative, the organization hosted a reception for Monogram winners Friday evening at Riva Restaurant in Chicago, Ill. The event was held in conjunction with the Notre Dame football team’s Shamrock Series game against Miami (Fla.) at Soldier Field.
More than 300 Monogram winners and their families from the Chicagoland area and beyond gathered at the Navy Pier restaurant to catch up with friends and former teammates, enjoy a selection of hors d’oeuvres and take in picturesque views of Lake Michigan.
“The majority of us met at Notre Dame in South Bend, but it’s good to transfer that network you’ve built to a big city like Chicago,” former volleyball student-athlete Adrianna Stasiuk (’08) said. “It’s great to see members you haven’t met before and rekindle connections that have been lost.”
Stasiuk and the Monogram Club’s Region 10 representative, Marcie Wolbeck (’02, volleyball), have joined forces over the past few months to provide more opportunities for Monogram winners to gather in the Chicagoland area. In addition to helping the Monogram Club promote the Riva event, Wolbeck and Stasiuk also will host a pre-game event for members on Oct. 12 at State Restaurant before the Notre Dame volleyball team’s game at DePaul.
Chicago is very unique – there is a ton of Notre Dame spirit and sheer numbers of athletic alumni in this city,” Stasiuk said. “It’s a great place and a natural place to grow our Monogram Club alumni network.”
The Chicago reception is part of the Monogram Club’s regional outreach program intended to help Monogram winners bridge the gap between legend and legacy outside of the confines of Notre Dame.
The initiative began with tailgates in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area in 2010 for basketball and lacrosse events. Since those pilot events, the Club has hosted football pre-game receptions in New York City (2010) and Washington, D.C. (2011), men’s basketball pre-game events in Tampa, Fla. (2011) and Philadelphia, Pa. (2012) and women’s basketball Final Four events in Indianapolis, Ind. (2011) and Denver, Colo. (2012). In May 2012, the Monogram Club also held a regional reception in conjunction with the men’s lacrosse team’s NCAA Championship semifinal appearance at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
It should be noted that Notre Dame athletics teams are an impressive 9-1 (.900) in games held after a Monogram Club regional reception.
“It’s been a great evening for the Monogram Club here on Navy Pier,” Monogram Club executive director Beth Hunter said. “It’s impressive to see Monogram winners spanning seven decades of Notre Dame athletics here to celebrate a wonderful Fighting Irish weekend in the Windy City.”
After the Friday night event, many of the attendees made the trek to Soldier Field to watch the Fighting Irish dispatch of Miami (Fla.), 41-3, marking Notre Dame’s third-consecutive victory in Shamrock Series’ contests.
Prior to the game, the Monogram Club held a Saturday afternoon tailgate at the Waldron Deck near Soldier Field to provide an area for Monogram winners to gather prior to the football game.
In addition, a number of football Monogram winners from the Lou Holtz era of Notre Dame football reconnected at the University Club of Chicago Friday evening at an event sponsored by the Lou’s Lads Foundation. Holtz appeared at the function along with the families of the more than 50 former players in attendance.
— ND —