Students at Saint Mary’s University build community through their classes, areas of residence, clubs, and intramurals/athletics.
However, we typically forget about one community – the Winona community.
The Saint Mary’s community got the chance to support a good cause on Saturday, Feb. 3, when it hosted a spaghetti dinner fundraiser open to the public at United Church of Christ in Winona.
Matthew Klosky, a professor at Saint Mary’s who attended the fundraiser, said the spaghetti dinner was a chance to connect off-campus.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get together with members of the community and literally break bread together,” he said. “I absolutely enjoyed myself.”
Dr. Elizabeth Seebach, chair of the psychology department who also attended the fundraiser, agreed.
“It’s such a nice event for community building that it would be worth continuing even if they didn’t make money,” she said.
However, the event is a fundraiser for a great cause — Saint Mary’s campus ministry. Colleen Dunne, director of Campus Ministry, said the funds support spring break immersion and service trips for students involved in the S.O.U.L. (Serving Others United in Love) program.
Through this program, students learn about poverty and injustice by serving in schools, soup kitchens, community centers, and among homeless populations. This year, the students are traveling to Rochester, N.Y.; Browning, Mont.; Narragansett, R.I.; Tulsa, Okla.; and East Los Angeles, Calif.
Dunne said Campus Ministry raised $650 to support the S.O.U.L. program thanks to the 171 people who attended the spaghetti dinner.
Another positive feature of the dinner is that students helped run the event as servers, but also got to spend time with the attendees.
“I very much enjoyed that the students organizing the event were also servers,” Klosky said. “It was very nice to connect with Emily [their server] beyond the typical server-diner rapport.”
Seebach also liked that feature of the evening.
“The students at the tables were just delightful,” she said. “It’s a great way to know a student that I didn’t already know.”
She said the event seemed to run completely smoothly.
“It was a fantastic night,” Seebach said.
Both she and Klosky said they would attend it again next year.