St. Peter, Minn. – The Student-Athlete Volunteer Educators hosted a holiday themed Saturday Night in Lund on Nov. 22. Sponsored by SAVE and Thrivent Financial, the event was open to the entire campus and attended by more than 215 Gustavus students – many of whom were student-athletes.
“SNL is a unique event that Gustavus organizations sponsor as an alternative way to spend Saturday night,” said senior soccer player Heather Goff. “SAVE promotes healthy lifestyles and choices and therefore it’s a natural fit to sponsor a SNL event.”
Attendees to SAVE’s Saturday Night in Lund took part in a number of activities including gingerbread house and ugly sweater contests, card making, and other activities. Thanks to a generous donation by Thrivent for materials, participants also made tie blankets, which were then donated to the family of Assistant Athletic Trainer Matt Eberhardt and the Partners for Affordable Housing in Mankato. The Eberhardt family was recently displaced from its Kasota, Minnesota home after a house fire the morning of Nov. 18. With 92 volunteers putting in a combined 46 hours, Gusties made a total of 23 blankets. Two were given to the Eberhardts and 21 were donated to Partners for Affordable Housing.
Women’s hockey players get into the holiday spirit.
“Our holiday themed night was called #selfieswithsanta and included hot chocolate, holiday cards, gingerbread houses, and a guest appearance by Santa!,” Goff continued. “Thrivent Financial was generous enough to sponsor us and with a monetary contribution and we made a number of tie blankets that will be donated during this holiday season. This is our second year sponsoring the tie blanket project and it is a favorite of us SAVE members. Not only is it fun to pick out the patterns and make the blankets, but it’s a meaningful and wonderful gift. Who doesn’t love a warm, fuzzy blanket to wrap up in?”
The purpose of a Saturday Night in Lund (SNL) event is to provide late night, interactive, alcohol free activities for Gustavus students looking for something to do during the hours of 10pm-1am. Events are held in Lund Center.
“We as Gustavus student-athletes strive to integrate service into our daily lives,” said senior football player Matt Keller, who worked closely with Thrivent leading up to the event. “Whether it is picking up a teammate at practice or making blankets for people in need, helping others and community service are a integral parts of what being a student-athlete here is all about.”
A total of 14 Saturday Night in Lund events are held over the course of the academic year – six during the fall semester, three during January, and five during the spring semester. Recognized organizations on campus can submit an application/action plan to sponsor an SNL event. Organizations that are accepted are then given a set amount of funds to help facilitate the event. SAVE oversees all SNL events and receives funding from the Gustavus Student Senate. This funding allows for other organizations to sponsor such events.
“Service is so important to student-athletes at Gustavus because it is a way to give back to the people and the communities that have supported our athletic journeys,” Goff stated. “We couldn’t be the athletes we are today without them, and it’s always nice to have an opportunity to give back.”
SAVE was the first organization to sponsor an SNL event and has kept up the tradition ever since its inception in November of 2008. Two years ago, SAVE decided to add a service component to the late night activity and with the help of Thrivent Financial, that became a reality.