The Notre Dame community has the opportunity to support the South Bend community by participating in the Breen-Phillips Hall 32nd annual Meal Auction on Thursday. During the event, students will have the chance to bid on dining with various “campus celebrities,” as well as gift baskets, gift cards and several other prize items. All profits from the auction will go to Meals on Wheels of St. Joseph County.Janice Chung | The Observer Co-chair and sophomore Jennifer Flanagan said the event is centered around the theme of community.“Meals on Wheels is a local charity, so we’re giving back to the South Bend community, and it’s also branching out to the Notre Dame community with all of these professors and coaches that are taking students into their homes or out in South Bend and treating them to dinner,” she said.Flanagan said other prizes being raffled or auctioned off include gift certificates to local restaurants such as CJ’s Pub, Le Peep and Rocky River Tap & Table. Other items available at the auction include Bose wireless speaker, a $100 Lululemon gift card, tickets to this summer’s PGA Tour, tickets to multiple Chicago Blackhawks games and tickets to a Chicago Cubs game.According to the Breen-Phillips Meal Auction Facebook event, several celebrity meals being auctioned off are with various Irish head coaches, including football coach Brian Kelly, women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw and men’s basketball coach Mike Brey.Other prizes being auctioned off include a private tour of the two new residence halls led by vice president of student affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding, a home cooked meal or Irish tea at the Fiddler’s Hearth with Assistant Director of Social Concerns Seminars Kyle Lantz, a class with True Balance Yoga founder Steve Krojniewski and a home-cooked, traditional South African dinner at professor Anré Venter’s home.Students can pay for auction items with Domer Dollars, Venmo, cash or checks.Procuring donations from local restaurants “has been a lot of work, but it’s definitely been worth it,” Flanagan said. The auction has evolved since its early years, and up until last year, only celebrity meals were auctioned off, and the event was a live two-hour auction.“That was hard because it’s hard to get students on a school night to commit two hours,” Flanagan said.This year, the auction will last from 4 to 9 p.m., during which students can stop in to the Dooley Room at any time and fill out bid sheets and raffle tickets. At the end of night, if any events are still being bid competitively, the auction will go live.“Typically it raises a couple thousand dollars, so we’re hoping it’ll raise that for Meals on Wheels again,” Flanagan said.Flanagan said there will be special events throughout the night to entertain those who come to the auction. From 4 to 5 p.m., campus representatives from Rockstar Energy Drinks will be at the auction distributing free drinks and merchandise. From 5 to 6 p.m., campus representatives from KIND Snacks will be giving out granola bars; from 6 to 7 p. m., students who buy raffle tickets will get free berries donated from Meijer’s grocery stores; and from 7 to 8 p.m., campus representatives from Vineyard Vines will be giving out free merchandise.“The most important part is that it’s for a really great charity; I think that’s why we’ve gotten so many awesome donations, and I’ve been surprised at how generous South Bend has been,” Flanagan said. “It’s brought BP together, it’s brought some really cool professors together, so ultimately we hope it raises a ton of money for Meals on Wheels.”Tags: Breen-Phillips, meal auction
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police arrested a Centereach man allegedly involved in a string of robberies that began Wednesday when he allegedly took a vehicle left running at Centereach Mall, authorities said.Joseph Tusa, 35, was taken into custody around 5:50 p.m. Friday when a Sixth Precinct officer spotted the stolen vehicle on College Road in Farmingville, police said. He was charged with two counts of third-degree robbery, third-degree and second-degree attempted robbery, and grand larceny.Tusa’s alleged robbery spree started 30 minutes after he allegedly stole the vehicle from the mall, police said. He entered Robie’s Cards and Gifts on Middle Country Road in Centereach demanding cash and stating he was “armed with a weapon,” police said in a news release. The employee handed over the money and Tusa fled, police said.He returned to the same store two days later but fled in the stolen vehicle after the employee refused to hand over more cash, police said. Six minutes later, according to police, he entered OK Patroleum on Middle Country Road in Centereach but fled again empty-handed. Shortly after fleeing, he stopped in Sue’s Cardsmart in Selden and made the same demands, police said. This time, the employee complied and gave him the cash.Tusa will be arraigned Saturday at First District Court in Central Islip.
DES MOINES — The World Pork Expo, an event that typically brings 20-thousand people from around the world to central Iowa, is among the latest casualties to coronavirus. Jen Sorenson of Ankeny, president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council board of directors, says the big gathering that was slated for June in Des Moines is being called off due to the pandemic. “We are deeply disappointed that we have to cancel this year’s expo,” Sorenson says. “It was a tough decision by the NPPC board of directors but it was, obviously, the right thing to do in the face of COVID-19.” It marks two years in a row the expo has been thwarted by disease. The June 2019 edition was cancelled because of fears about African Swine Flu. She says producers will miss the event, but hopefully, it’ll be back in 2021. “Pork Expo is the time to come together, network, get business done, socialize, share ideas, look at the new technology and innovation that’s coming into the industry,” Sorenson says. “For us, as pork producers, it’s business as usual. We’re taking care of our animals on our farms and that’s our big priority right now.” When it comes to staying ahead of the curve on health issues, Sorenson says pork producers remain proactive, adding, they were practicing social distancing “before it was cool.” “With our practices to protect our herds when it comes to biosecurity, when it comes to showering in and out of our farms, using that hand sanitizer, disinfecting supplies that come into the farm,” she says, “just a whole gamut of things that we do to protect our herds.” America’s pork producers take their jobs seriously in being an essential service, Sorenson says, helping keep the food supply chain moving and in good shape.