Tuesday November 28, 2006

Not Just Any Christmas Tree

An alum's family is donating the Christmas on Campus tree to honor a mother killed in an August car accident. UD will light the tree at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in Humanities Plaza.

The University of Dayton's Christmas on Campus tree has special meaning this year. The family of Riverside's Doris Naone, who died in a July car accident, is donating a tree from their yard in her memory. Doris' daughter, Jenna, is a 2006 UD graduate.

UD will light the tree for the 43rd time shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in Humanities Plaza. The lighting follows the live nativity scene and precedes the arrival of Santa Claus.

Christmas on Campus is free and open to the public.

The new venue for the tree, which normally stands in Kennedy Union plaza, is among a few changes this year. The carnival is moving from the Physical Activities Center to RecPlex, UD's new recreation center. Activities normally held in Miriam Hall will move to a tent near the Christmas tree.

This is the 40th year UD students have brought Dayton school children to the event. In 1966, student Bob Cikraji, noticing that Christmas on Campus didn't involve any community outreach, wanted to contribute more to UD's service atmosphere, according to the Flyer News. Ellie Kurtz, director of UD's student union from 1964 to 1994, started the event for a group of UD students who simply wanted to get together before heading home for the winter break.

The number of children UD students "adopt" has grown from a few to more than 1,200. The children, some of whom may not have much of a Christmas, navigate a winter wonderland of cartoon characters, games, dancing, singing, crafts, face-painting and Santa Claus. This year, children will arrive in C Lot, off of Evanston by RecPlex, instead of B Lot.

Thirteen-year-old Caroline Shinkle follows grandparents Erving and Caroline Beauregard and mother, Carolyn Beauregard-Shinkle, as a Christmas on Campus volunteer. Carolyn said her mother, once a member of UD's faculty wives club, made thousands of clothespin dolls and cookies each year until her death in 1980. Carolyn's father was on the UD history department faculty for more than 50 years before he died in 2004.

The Christmas on Campus committee dedicated the 1980 event to her mother, according to Carolyn.

"Christmas on Campus means forgetting about yourself, making someone else happy and shining the bright light of kindness on someone else," said 13-year-old Caroline who donates her gently-used toys as prizes for the game she organizes in the carnival section. "Even if I move away from Dayton someday, I'll get involved with Christmas off Campus."

Brian and Renai Lowry, co-presidents of the St. Louis chapter, started the first Christmas off Campus in 1990. Today, 29 of UD's 33 alumni chapters celebrate Christmas off Campus.

Christmas on Campus ends with a candlelight walk at 9 p.m. to the Frericks Center, the site of the musical celebration of Christmas and Mass celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The celebration and Mass, which feature a 40-person choir and a crowd of 5,000, begin at 9:30 p.m.

Schedule of Events for 2006 (subject to change)

5:30 p.m., C Lot, Children arrive; 6 p.m., Humanities Plaza; Live nativity, tree lighting, Santa's arrival; 6-8 p.m., RecPlex, Carnival; 6-8 p.m., KU Green Space and Tent; Petting zoo, World's Most Dangerous Juggling Club, Crafts; 7:30 p.m., Immaculate Conception Chapel, The Ebony Heritage Singers and the UD Chorale will present a concert of seasonal music; 8:15 p.m., C Lot, Children return to buses; 9 p.m., Humanities Plaza, Candlelight procession to Frericks Center; 9:30 p.m., Frericks Center, Mass.

6-8 p.m., Jesse Philips Humanities Center, Santa's Workshop

1st floor lobby, Pictures with Santa (starts at 6:30 p.m.)

Room 109, Gingerbread houses

Room 110, Paper bag Rudolph Puppet

Room 204, Salt-dough ornaments

Room 205, Cookie decorating

Room 207, Cake walk

Room 240, Pin the Tail on Rudolph

6:30-8:30 p.m., Kennedy Union, Entertainment

Hangar (bottom floor), Making musical instruments, e-mailing Santa

Barrett Dining Room (first floor), Model train display

Room 100, Christmas movies, pictures with Rudolph

Room 207, Candy cane reindeer

Room 211, Child and student picture ornaments

Room 222, Letters to Santa

Room 232, Mock newspaper article

Boll Theatre (first floor)

6:30-7 p.m., Stivers School for the Arts

7-7:30 p.m., Miami Valley Dance Company

7:30-8 p.m., South Dayton Dance Theater

8-8:30 p.m., Celtic Academy of Irish Dance

Torch Lounge (first floor)

6:30-7 p.m., Hands in Harmony

7:00-7:30 p.m., Jim McCutcheon Beginning Guitar Sing-A-Long

7:30-8 p.m., Dr. Bill Schuerman's sing-a-long

West Ballroom (second floor)

6:30-7 p.m., Richard Allen Choir

7:30-8 p.m., Fairmont Chorale

East Ballroom (second floor)

7-7:30 p.m., Dakota Center Drill Team

8-8:30 p.m., Western Stars Drill Team

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.