Ushers relish Stadium experience

first_img Scheibelhut shared similar sentiments. For him, 57 years as an usher simply isn’t long enough. “I figure I have another five, six years — as long as my legs hold out, I’m going to keep coming,” he said. “The No. 1 qualification is that the person has to be willing to work a long day, and be an ambassador for Notre Dame,” he said. “They have to be hospitable. They have to look out for the safety of our guests in the Stadium, and occasionally have to enforce Stadium rules.” The ushers come from a variety of backgrounds. Who are they? They are the Notre Dame ushers. “When I ask people ‘why did you sign up to work the student section,’ they all give the same answer, ‘We like the energy of being there with the students.’” “When Rockne first had tryouts for ushers, 1,000 people came out to audition,” he said. Cox’s daughter graduated in 1998, but Cox never gave up ushering. In fact, she has moved up the ranks since then. She started in section 108 as volunteer usher, then moved to section 125/126 and became a supervisor, and finally was moved to the tunnel and made a top supervisor. Scheibulhut has not taken a penny in 57 years for his work in the Stadium on Saturdays. “Welcome to Notre Dame,” they say, with bright yellow jackets and infectious smiles. “It’s good that you’re here.” Cappy Gagnon, coordinator of stadium personnel and the head of the ushers, said the majority of the Stadium ushers are volunteers. “I love the tunnel, to see the players come in, the band come in, the visiting teams, press conferences,” she said. “I’m there, I’m down by the field, and I have to pinch myself to say, ‘This is real, Shirley.’” Ushers may come from various backgrounds and places all over the country, but they all share one thing in common — their love for Notre Dame. “I’d say the primary motivation for people to be ushers is that they want to be part of the game day experience representing Notre Dame,” Gagnon said. “It’s not as comfortable as being a guest — on the other hand, it’s hard to compete with the feeling you have when you’re there early. You open the Stadium and welcome people and take a lot of pride in being part of the Notre Dame experience.” The usher program dates back to famed football coach Knute Rockne’s day. “I’m going to be one of the usher statues — I’m going to be there a long, long time. I just love it too much,” Cox said. “I’m going to do it until I can’t do it anymore.” Gagnon said the usher application process is very competitive. Scheibelhut said one of the best parts about being an usher is interacting with the fans that return game after game. He has seen three generations of families come through his section. There are 850 of them at Notre Dame Stadium, rain or shine, on game days, working up to 12 or 13 hours, arriving from 24 different states and representing a wide range of professions. “I started out one game in the student section, I told them I quit and I’ve been in Section 23 ever since,” he said.center_img Gagnon, a 1966 Notre Dame alumnus, had a background in security and law enforcement before returning to campus 15 years ago to take a job as an usher, because he said he missed being at Notre Dame. Gagnon said his love for the University is a sentiment that many other ushers share and cite as a reason they join the program. In fact, 500 of the 850 ushers work for free. “The most difficult thing is when you have to remove somebody from the Stadium because of a serious issue, when somebody’s fighting or heavily intoxicated,” he said. “[Another] difficult thing is when you have injuries or illnesses. We’ve had people fall or have heart attacks, or have heat-related issues, those kinds of issues that require a lot of care and concern.” “I have a former ND football player who has a national championship ring, I have an MIT graduate, I have a Yale graduate … I have a range of professions represented [including] a psychologist, architect, lawyers and college professors,” Gagnon said. A job as an usher is extremely rewarding, Gagnon said, but there are challenges that come with the job as well. Supervisor Shirley Cox also found that one of the best aspects of ushering is meeting new people. Cox started as an usher in the mid-90s when Notre Dame first opened up usher positions for women. At the time, Cox’s daughter was a student at Notre Dame. “[My daughter] got me involved to be an usher … I was visiting with her one day, and she said, ‘Mom, they’re going to be opening up ushers for women, would you be interested?’ I said, ‘I love Notre Dame, I loved it from day one, I would love to do it.’” Fifteen to 20 of the ushers are parents of former Notre Dame students, and only about eight are Notre Dame alums. “I went for an interview … I received the letter that I was one of the ushers, and I was thrilled,” she said. Veteran usher Richard Scheibelhut started his ushering career in the student section 57 years ago, when he was 17 years old. The distinctive caps the ushers wear also started with Rockne. Ushers in the white caps are called captains — they are first level supervisors. Ushers in gold caps are the top supervisors. Cox said becoming an usher was a way for her to “give back to Notre Dame.” Cox recently broke her leg. She said she’s like a football player — “out for the season.” Gagnon said the student section is the one place in the Stadium where he does not arbitrarily assign an usher. Every usher that works in the student section has volunteered to work there. “I love my job, just like all the ushers — every one of them will tell you [that].” Gagnon said. “I loved [Notre Dame] from day one as a student when I came here 48 years ago, and my feelings haven’t changed in 48 years.” The broken leg, however, does not mean her time as an usher is over.last_img read more

Fightin’ Irish Battalion continues excellence

first_imgWith a strong tradition dating back to 1858, the Notre Dame Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program is one of the most distinguished and respected organizations on campus.Now, that acknowledgement has spread nationwide. On Feb. 6, the Army’s Cadet Command announced the winners of its MacArthur Award, which recognizes the top eight ROTC programs of 273 total across the country. Notre Dame was chosen to represent the 7th Brigade, which includes 38 programs throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky, Lt. Col. John Polhamus said. Although the Army ROTC program may not be among the largest programs in the country, Polhamus said the quality of the Battalion’s roughly 70 current cadets, including students from Holy Cross College, Saint Mary’s College, Bethel College, Valparaiso University and Indiana University – South Bend, contributes to its success in producing excellent junior officers. “We have a good program because it’s cadet-driven. We have a smart, intelligent group of cadets, and we give them a lot of flexibility and latitude to train and teach themselves,” he said. “It’s all about leadership in creating junior officers, and we try to instill that in cadets as early as possible. It’s paid off.” Senior battalion commander Brett Leahy said the program’s success stems from the hardworking, intelligent students at Notre Dame. “We are fortunate to have a student body that has already proven a strong work ethic and high academic standards,” he said. “From that pool, we are able to draw some of the most dedicated and selfless leaders in the nation.” Leahy also cited Notre Dame’s focus on ethics and morality in all its operations as another reason for the success of Army ROTC cadets. The Universith consistently produces high numbers of Distinguished Military Graduates, defined as those cadets who fall into the top 20 percent of cadets nationwide. “We also benefit from Notre Dame’s commitment to ethics in its educational mission, as it gives our cadets a moral foundation that is consistent with the Army’s Warrior Ethos,” he said. This ethical focus and the University’s service-oriented mission tie in closely with the ROTC program’s mission in producing quality second lieutenants as well, Polhamus said. “The University is extremely supportive of our community, and it allows us the flexibility to create a great program across the board,” he said. “A big reason for students coming into ROTC is their commitment to service, which goes along with the Notre Dame mission and contributes to the success of the program.” Senior cadet Trevor Waliszewski said commitment to service goes hand in hand with the Army’s core values and the University’s Catholic mission. “As a Catholic university, Notre Dame attracts a lot of people who want to fight for something bigger than themselves,” he said. “One of the greatest Army values is Selfless Service, and it goes without saying that each of us [is] willing to pay the ultimate price for our country if necessary.” That willingness to serve the nation carries on after cadets graduate from the program and join the hundreds of alumni currently serving on active duty around the world.hNotre Dame ROTC alumni currently serve in such locations as Germany, South Korea and Japan, Polhamus said. Second Lt. Ryan Degnan, a 2011 alumnus of the Army ROTC program, recently completed the Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) in military intelligenc, ande returned to Notre Dame this week to assist with the Hometown Recruiting Assistance Program (HRA. . Degnan, who begins work in his first unit in San Antonio on Monday, said the success of the Notre Dame ROTC program begins with the drive and passion of its cadets. “The biggest thing about Notre Dame ROTC is that it comes with a lot of talented cadets who are all striving to be the best they can be, and they have a lot of drive to succeed,” he said. “It fosters a competitive atmosphere, but there’s still a lot of camaraderie and teamwork in the unit.” Degnan said the program pushed him to work hard in all aspects of his training and education, which prepared him well for his upcoming duties. “The program instills a very strong work ethic in its cadets, and I can’t even express how much that work ethic helps in the long run,” he said. “The Army-focused training we had senior year taught ue how to be good leaders and succeed as officers, and I think it gave me a good base to face any challenges I might come in contact with this year.” Above all, Waliszewski said the strong sense of community among ROTC cadets contributes to the program’s success and cohesion as a group. “We are a very tight-knit community,” he said. “We all have friend groups from dorms, majors or clubs, but friendships made in ROTC tend to be the strongest and seem to last long after graduation, since we are all going into the same career and may run into one another in a different part of the world in the not-so-distant future.”last_img read more

Notre Dame student wins service award

Service has always been a part of Erin Wright’s life, and the Notre Dame junior finally is being recognized for her tireless efforts to the area. Wright is the 2012 recipient of the Richard J. Wood Student Community Commitment Award from Indiana Campus Compact. According to a press release from the Center for Social Concerns (CSC), the award is given to a student at an Indiana college or university for the impact they have on the citizens of the state and their community. “I think it is very humbling and honoring to win this award,” Wright said. “It’s a good testament to the organizations I work with and the people they serve. This makes me want to stay involved and continue to work with them.” As a high school student, Wright was involved with her school’s campus ministry. When she came to Notre Dame, getting involved in a variety of service opportunities was a way to become engaged on campus, she said. Wright is the president of Friends of the Orphans, a group that works in Honduras, interned last summer at St. Jude’s Children Hospital through the CSC’s Summer Service Learning Program, and is a poverty studies minor. Wright said she is committed to service in her future, no matter where she ends up. “I’m not sure what I want to do, I want to do some service, perhaps spend some time abroad,” she said. “I think I want to go to grad school and study global health. I want to work in development issues and how it relates to health care.” As an intern at St. Jude’s, Wright worked with patients and their families. Wright is a poverty studies minor and has participated in many CSC seminars, including the Appalachia program and Urban Plunge. Last year, she was part of a theology class who started a food co-op in the Monroe Park neighborhood, a local “food desert.” In the press release, Cynthia Toms-Smedley, director of the Educational Immersion Seminars at the CSC, said Wright is an advocate for people living on the margins of society. “Erin has demonstrated a deep and abiding conscience for people living at the margins of our society,” Toms-Smedley said. “Furthermore, her tireless efforts toward poverty alleviation have produced countless positive outcomes for her peer students, university staff and faculty, and for community members.” Fr. William M. Lies, executive director of the CSC, nominated Wright for the award. “As an educator, I am struck by the realization that many students come and go through our doors during our decades of university service,” Lies said in the press release. “Most students learn and contribute to our lives. However, once in a while, a special student enters our doors – a student that embodies our greatest values and bolsters our hope in the future. Erin Wright is that student.” Contact Anna Boarini at [email protected] read more

SMC students hold panel on mental illness

first_imgOn Monday night, Saint Mary’s students participated in a panel discussion on mental health awareness as part of the Support a Belle, Love a Belle initiative. Junior Jenna Wozniak, co-chair of the Student Government Association’s social concerns committee, said the student panel is an important tradition that fosters unity among Saint Mary’s students.“It’s important for student to hear from other students,” Wozniak said. “In the long run we all go through similar experiences and relate to one another, that’s how we can grow as a community and with each other.”At the panel, junior Miranda Gall spoke about her struggle with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD. She said it has been a difficult journey, and she is still not past her struggles, but Saint Mary’s has helped with her mental illness.“I’ve always suffered with depression, but it got really bad freshman year when I decided to overdose on my anxiety medication after a bad experience with a roommate,” Gall said. “I was out cold for four days and no one noticed.”  Gall said she goes to the Women’s Health Center every week and has become very close with the nurses who have helped her along the way.“I thought my struggle was over, but about a month ago I attempted suicide again,” Gall said. “It was difficult seeing my parents so upset, and now that I am back at school, I constantly fear relapse. .… It is something I still struggle with today.”Junior Erica Lopez also spoke about her struggle with depression, anxiety and OCD. She said that she has always been shy and college prompted a huge adjustment for her.“I didn’t want to be in the community of mental illnesses, but eventually I became suicidal,” Lopez said. “I got diagnosed with depression, anxiety and a little bit of OCD, but it really helped to take medication and talk openly with my parents.”Lopez said that being at Saint Mary’s has helped her realize she isn’t alone in her struggle.“Saint Mary’s has shown me that involvement and getting to know people really helps,” Lopez said. “There are many others experiencing these things and I have comfort in knowing that no one is alone in this, you’re never by yourself.”  Senior Torie Otteson spoke about her struggle with major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD. She said that she has come a long way and conquered many of her battles, but the battle with mental illness will always be a continuous force in her life.“Mental illness never really goes away; you have moments of clarity but also movements back down,” Otteson said. “The ultimate goal is to get to the post-recovery phase, but some of my biggest challenges have been in this phase.” Otteson said whether in the post-recovery phase, newly diagnosed or anywhere in between, everyone suffering from mental illness deserves the same help, love, respect and care.  “One of the most important things I’ve learned during the post recovery phase is to be self aware,” she said. “Every day I have to decide to look at myself with love or hate, but I know that every time I make a positive choice, I am fighting for myself.”“I encourage everyone to take control and fight every day to appreciate the life you’ve been given,” Otteson said. “Finally, no matter who you are or where you are, know that you are worth the fight. .… You have a life to live no matter where you are in it, so get going.”Tags: Mental health, SABLAB, SMClast_img read more

University hosts prayer service to honor victims of Pittsburgh shooting

first_imgCLAIRE RAFFORD | The Observer Members of the Notre Dame community gathered in the Main Building on Tuesday in recognition of the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting.Rabbi Michael Friedland of Sinai Synagogue in South Bend then recited Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd,” in both Hebrew and in English. Imam Mohammed Sirajuddin of the Islamic Society of Michiana delivered words of unity after the psalm recitation, mourning the acts of violence in a religious haven meant for peace and reflection, rather than assault and bloodshed.“We grieve the loss of innocent lives in a place of worship,” Sirajuddin said. “A place of worship is a place of refuge and safety, not violence. We stand in solidarity with our Jewish sisters and brothers in speaking out against anti-Semitism.”Sirajuddin also spoke about how people should remember that every human life has intrinsic value that is stronger than prejudice and hate.“Let us remember our greatest relationship is our shared humanity,” Sirajuddin said. “We are brothers and sisters from Adam and Eve. We have shared values and divine teachings to cherish the dignity of human life and to honor the dignity of human souls.”After the speeches, Companez led a yahrzeit, or memorial candle lighting, in honor of the people who were killed. Each of the 11 candles, one for every victim, were lit by a different member of the Notre Dame community, including senior Jewish Club president Alicia Twisselmann, senior and student body vice president Corey Gayheart and University President Father John Jenkins. After the lighting, the community sang a recitation of Psalm 133, verse 1, in Hebrew. In English, Psalm 133 reads, “How good it is and how beautiful, when we are all sitting together.”Jenkins closed the service with a prayer for the souls of the deceased, asking God to protect their souls and praying for peace in the world.Tags: Father Jenkins, Pittsburgh, Prayer service, Shooting, unity Students, faculty and members of the Notre Dame community gathered at Main Building on Tuesday at noon to pray for the 11 victims of Saturday’s shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.Rabbi Karen Companez of Temple Beth-El in South Bend opened the service with a speech condemning the act of violence and calling for unity in this time of sadness.“The wanton and brazen acts of violence that led to the senseless loss of innocent lives are unconscionable, unfathomable and completely unacceptable,” Companez said. “Somehow or another, they must stop.”last_img read more

JCC Women’s Basketball Coach Resigns

first_imgJAMESTOWN – This week, Travis Wells, the head coach of the JCC Lady Jayhawks Basketball team, resigned from his position. The move comes after the Jayhawks finished the 2019-2020 season 10-16, and losing to Niagara County Community College in the Region III Division II Semi-Finals.Wells spent more than 25 years being on staff for the JCC Lady Jayhawks.In his five seasons as head coach, Wells guided the Jayhawks to a 62-71 record. Wells also received the Region III Division II Coach of the Year award after the 2017-2018 season, when JCC finished 19-7 and made it to the Regional Semi-Finals.The vacant coaching spot is open for any coaches who are interested in taking the reins for the job. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cooler Weekend With Better Rain Chances Likely

first_imgJAMESTOWN – The heat wave we saw this past week will temporary come to an end for the weekend, with an addition of some much needed rain fall to the area. Saturday will be mostly cloudy with a few scattered showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures will be cooler with highs in the upper-70’s.Saturday night racing gets underway at Stateline speedway with mostly cloudy skies, a scattered shower or storm is possibles through the evening and over night. Highs in the evening near-70 with lows over-night in the lower-60’s.Sunday will be partly cloudy, a few showers are possible with highs near 80. The start of the work week will begin with temperatures near 80. But as the week moves on, the temperatures will rise and so will the humidity. Another heatwave looks to be in the works.Otherwise the days will feature sunshine with the risk for pop-up showers and stroms. Much like this past week.WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Free Girl Scout Cookies Available On National S’mores Day

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by the Girl Scouts of Western New York.WESTERN NEW YORK — The Girl Scouts of Western New York are adding a sweet touch and taste to Aug. 10, which is National S’mores Day.The Girl Scouts are offering one free package of cookies including the famous Girl Scout S’mores cookies, while supplies last.For one day only, one free package of Girl Scout cookies will be given with any purchase made at GSWNY’s Retail Shops for curbside pickup and cookies must be redeemed through curbside pickup on Aug. 10, 2020 from 1 to 4 p.m.Locations include the Jamestown Service Center, 2661 Horton Rd. National S’mores Day celebrates the nostalgic campfire treat known by millions around the world and composed of marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker. In fact, Girl Scouts is credited with inventing the recipe when it was first introduced to the world in a 1927 Girl Scout publication.last_img read more

State Deficit Hits $14.5 Billion As Officials Try To Fill The Gap

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Legalize marijuana,Stop funding illegal immigrants. Since under our state officials the state is not upholding the constitution and laws of the United States and the State of New York, due to the bad decisions of our state officials maybe they should be the first people of this state to feel the pinch. All state elected and appointed officials should have there pay frozen indefinitely until this situation is resolved. This would include the retirement accounts of all said officials. Past present and future.Also any burdens they put on the legal citizens and businesses of this states should be applied double to them. That is to includes taxes, fees,tolls, and other schemes they come up with inflect the people and business of New York.,Free healthcare…. Free College….. Free Rent….. Free Welfare…….. Free Foodstamps……Never thought that the $$$$$ had to come from somewhere… Spend.. Spend… Spend…. (It must be nice to be able to spend MORE than you make)And now we’re in the hole & guess what …. the working tax payers will have to pay the price for all the FREEBIES Photo: Matt H. Wade / CC BY 3.0ALBANY — The New York State budget deficit of $14.5 billion has state officials scratching their heads on how to close the gap, especially if the federal government doesn’t offer some form of bailout.On a Thursday conference call, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said if there’s no federal aid, there are options than can be taken to “try to fill” the gap.“Taxes, cuts, borrowing, early retirement, all of the above, and all of the above won’t fill that hole,” Cuomo said,Permanent across the board 20 percent cuts for schools, hospitals and local governments haven’t been made, yet, there have been with-holdings, and counties across the state are already feeling financial pains. “They are now slowly turning off the reimbursement, and state funding valve to local governments and schools, so they can meet there they can slow the funds, going out of the state budget and try to close their budget gap. There are other ways that they can go about doing this, but this is the way that they have chosen,” said New York State Association of Counties Deputy Director Mark LaVigne.The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) has put together a report of more than 80 recommendations that can be taken to close budget gaps.“I don’t think we can wait any longer. Honestly, there’s a good chance that Washington either doesn’t come through at all or comes through but not to the level that we need to continue to provide services that our residents need locally. So, we need some action from the state, we need some decisions from the state that will help counties and local governments and schools get through these times,” LaVigne said.Some actions include granting “permanent sales tax authority for all counties for a local sales tax at their existing rate or up to 4 percent,” temporarily allowing counties to exceed the property tax cap “without penalty” in certain cases, increasing Thruway tolls for out of state residents, and allowing mobile sports gaming that shares revenue with counties.last_img read more

A Night With Janis Joplin Cancels Off-Broadway Run

first_imgCry, cry baby. A spokesperson for A Night With Janis Joplin has confirmed that the off-Broadway run of the show “will postpone its opening indefinitely due to production issues.” The tuner, which played Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre earlier this season, was set to return to New York at the Gramercy Theatre beginning April 10. Mary Bridget Davies was scheduled to reprise her role as the titular rock legend. Mary Bridget Davies Written and directed by Randy Johnson, A Night with Janis Joplin celebrated the inspirations of one of rock’s greatest legends and took audiences on a musical journey with Joplin after her unforgettable voice made her a must-see headliner all across the country when she exploded onto the music scene in 1967. The show featured many of Joplin’s hit songs, including “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Down on Me,” “Summertime,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Ball ‘n’ Chain,” “Maybe,” “Kozmic Blues,” “Cry Baby” and “Mercedes Benz.”center_img View Comments Star Fileslast_img read more