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Notre Dame Has a Home at the FEST

For the second year in a row, Notre Dame College will be one of three main sponsors for the FEST, a one-day Catholic family festival that will celebrate its 10th installment on Aug. 8. More than 25,000 people are expected to come to the event at the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe, Ohio.

Notre Dame will staff a tent on the festival grounds and NDC students will serve as MCs on the main stage throughout the day.

“Being able to highlight all that’s happening at Notre Dame to an audience of 25,000 plus is a tremendous benefit to the College,” said Director of Campus Ministry Anthony Camino. “We’re excited to spread our message of excellence and growth to as many people as possible.”

The event kicks off around noon and features games, activities and live Christian bands including Newsboys, The Afters, Matt Maher and Brooke Barrettsmith. It ends with a large Mass on the main stage and fireworks.

Activities for kids include a scavenger hunt, decorating candles and seeing the clowns. For the youngest kids, there is a play area filled with coloring supplies, sand tables, and bubbles. Teens can navigate through a “Minute to Win It” obstacle course, climb a rock wall and enjoy a BMX bike show.

Notre Dame students volunteer at the FEST.This year’s theme of the FEST is “Lead Me Home.” It celebrates “community, faith and the abundant blessings we have in our lives.” The organizers want to stress that churches and parishes should be a place of welcome and comfort. They point out that faith guides us “home” on the journey called life.

In cooperation with many parishes throughout the diocese of Cleveland, the FEST also supports Mission Possible, an organization that aims to build homes for Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic.

The FEST is run by an army of volunteers. In 2009 it saw over 1,400 people, among them many Notre Dame student athletes, helping in every area, from running activities to parking cars, to setting up the stage. The event is free to all who attend thanks to the generous support of sponsors such as Notre Dame College.

“Notre Dame College strives to serve as a positive force not only in South Euclid but throughout the region,” Camino said. “Our support of the FEST is another example of living out our mission of responsibility to the wider community.”

By Christian Taske '07, editor and writer at Notre Dame College.