Softball

@NDsoftball
Pediatric Christmas Party a Big Hit


Dec. 11, 2016


By Sara White

Christmas music echoed in the Joyce Center Thursday as my fellow student-athletes and I dressed in Christmas sweaters and costumes to celebrate our annual Pediatric Christmas Party. Junior football punter Tyler Newsome played the role of Santa Claus alongside sophomore softball pitcher Cait Brooks, who played Mrs. Claus. The pair undoubtedly brought the jolly spirit of Christmas from the North Pole to Notre Dame.


Roughly 200 people attended this year's party, which included pediatric patients and their family members. Notre Dame student-athletes decorated cookies, painted faces and played musical chairs, along with participating in basketball and hockey with the children and their families.

"With families and everybody there together they have a lot better time relating and they feel more comfortable, rather than when it's just them with a bunch of college kids," said junior fencer Hazem Khazbak. "Of course, with the variety of stations there's so much to do and there's always something new to do, which is great.

"I feel like being here at Notre Dame is such a special thing, and we receive so much. We are so lucky to be here and the amount of support and love the school gives to us is tremendous--so to be able to give back in some way is great."

Khazbak's team was in charge of cookie-decorating and face-painting, but it also took some time to have fun with musical chairs with Fighting Irish Fight For Life (FIFFL) teammate Adler, who came in second place twice in a row. As a testament to Adler's hard-fought finalist position, he beat his buddy Kristjan Archer, a senior on the fencing team. Archer was so competitive that he knocked senior softball pitcher Rachel Nasland off a chair.

At the spin a wheel and "guess the amount of candy" station, sophomore Collin Stoecker and his baseball team celebrated one girl's sweep of the prizes.

"This girl won both of the guessing candy jars and seeing how happy she was was just amazing," Stoecker said. "It's awesome seeing how much it means to the kids, just hanging out with them and giving them candy and toys. Seeing them smile and be happy is great."

Stoecker said he is humbled by the patients at the Pediatric Christmas Party because he gains a new perspective by spending time with them.

"It gives you a perspective that is really life-changing," Stoecker said. "We have so many things in our life that we take for granted and seeing these kids who have gone through tough battles with illness still be so happy and strong gives you a different perspective. It really teaches you to appreciate the things you have and your health and make sure every day you are thankful for these things."

For a moment I stopped to take in the surroundings. I saw a room full of my friends on other teams and my own teammates genuinely interacting with the kids and their families, getting to know each family and playing with each child. It made me proud to see the Notre Dame student-athlete community spreading an abundance of smiles, laughter and celebrations in high-fives and hugs.

This is a special time of year for Notre Dame student-athletes. We come together and give back to children in the community who inspire us and show us their personalities that are as unique as our own.

I think the best part is that the Notre Dame students were able to put aside their worries about their upcoming exams for a few hours to spend some time just being kids for a day.

Said Khazbak: "I think they start looking up to the student-athletes, so to be able to touch their lives, especially during a hard time like this, and make them as happy as they are when they're interacting with us and getting to know us is something special."

Sara White, a junior from San Diego, California, is a member of the Irish softball squad.


 

 

Event Calendar

Delta

February 10
12:00 PM
Weber State
Long Beach, Calif. (LBSU Softball Complex)
February 10
2:30 PM
Long Beach State
Long Beach, Calif. (LBSU Softball Complex)
February 11
12:00 PM
South Dakota
Long Beach, Calif. (LBSU Softball Complex)
February 11
2:30 PM
San Diego State
Long Beach, Calif. (LBSU Softball Complex)
February 12
12:00 PM
UCLA
Los Angeles, Calif. (Easton Stadium)
February 17
1:30 PM
Minnesota
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
February 18
10:00 AM
Michigan
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
February 18
12:30 PM
Minnesota
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
February 19
10:00 AM
Michigan
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
February 23
6:30 PM
Texas
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 23
9:00 PM
Missouri
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 24
3:30 PM
Arizona State
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 24
6:00 PM
Georgia
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 25
1:00 PM
Oklahoma
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
March 4
12:30 PM
Purdue
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 4
5:00 PM
FIU
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 5
10:00 AM
Chattanooga
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 5
12:15 PM
Charlotte
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 11
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (Mewborn Field)
March 11
3:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (Mewborn Field)
March 12
12:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (Mewborn Field)
March 14
5:00 PM
Georgia State
Atlanta, Ga. (Heck Softball Complex)
March 15
6:00 PM
Mercer
Macon, Ga. (Sikes Field)
March 17
6:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)
March 18
1:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)
March 19
12:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)
March 22
5:00 PM
Michigan State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
March 24
6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
March 25
3:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
March 26
12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
March 29
5:00 PM
Eastern Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 1
12:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
April 2
2:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
April 3
7:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
April 5
5:00 PM
Fort Wayne
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 7
6:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 8
3:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 9
12:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 11
5:30 PM
Detroit Mercy
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 12
6:00 PM
IUPUI
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 14
4:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
April 14
6:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
April 15
1:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
April 19
6:00 PM
Western Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 22
1:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 22
3:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 23
12:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 25
5:00 PM
Northwestern
Evanston, Ill. (Drysdale Field)
April 29
1:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 29
3:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 30
12:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 3
6:00 PM
Butler
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 5
6:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 6
3:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 7
12:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 11
TBA
ACC Championship
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Anderson Stadium)
May 12
TBA
ACC Championship
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Anderson Stadium)
May 13
TBA
ACC Championship
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Anderson Stadium)
May 19
TBA
NCAA Regionals
Campus sites
May 20
TBA
NCAA Regionals
Campus sites
May 21
TBA
NCAA Regionals
Campus sites
May 25
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
Campus sites
May 26
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
Campus sites
May 27
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
Campus sites
May 28
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
Campus sites
June 1
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 2
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 3
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 4
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 5
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 6
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 7
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)

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