On Dec. 9, McNick students had the opportunity to participate in the alumni-run Christmas project known as St. Nick at McNick. St. Nick at McNick was started in the 90s by a group of alumni from the 1966 graduating year, and was revived in 2016 after the 50th reunion of the class of ’66. It is currently in its third year and is being run by Class of ’66 alumni Bridget Kahermanes, Lennie Blasing, Duane Berwanger, Cookie Berwanger, Bob Ewers, Linda Ewers, Donna Glaser, Tom Glaser, Pam Stewart, and Alumni Manager Shawn Young.
The process for pulling this project together begins with raising money. Depending on how much money is raised, St. Nick at McNick can commit to various agencies in order to distribute their gifts to those in need. Organizations include CAIN (Churches Active In Northside), and St. Joseph Orphanage. The St. Nick at McNick organizers also contribute gift cards to the Gifts of Hope project run by Student Council.
After committing to the agencies, volunteers shop for the gifts. Then, at McNick, there is a “wrapping party.” Last year the St. Nick at McNick project gifted over 200 people. After all the wrapping is complete, gifts are delivered to the agencies, and the St. Nick at McNick crew helps to distribute them. For example, at CAIN, the St. Nick crew delivers presents to those at the Christmas dinner.
Students often get involved by helping to set up for the wrapping party, wrapping the presents, and have also helping to distribute presents at CAIN.“Shortly after, [we] make sure we let contributors know what their generosity helped St. Nick do and that their kindness was appreciated. It is a lot of work but a labor of love and a lot of people help,” Kahermanes said.