Saint Joseph's College to Host 35th Gallagher Charitable Society Christmas Party

November 28, 2012

On Saturday, December 1, Saint Joseph's College's Gallagher Charitable Society (GCS) will host its annual Christmas party for underprivileged children and their families. This is the 35th year that Gallagher Charitable Society has hosted the event, which will begin at 10:00 am CST in the Halleck Student Center Ballroom on the SJC campus.

The event will feature a number of activities for those who visit. Children will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with Santa; and jackets, food, and gifts will be handed out to those in attendance. A hot meal will also be provided.

The SJC baseball team and its head coach, Rick O'Dette '99, will once again be present at the event. Players and coaches will work as Santa's elves, coordinating games and activities and handing out books, toys, and food baskets. O'Dette continues to lend his support to the event after volunteering as a student at SJC. The baseball team will be joined by faculty advisor Fr. William Stang, C.PP.S. '72, and 25 student volunteers.

The party is again being run by GCS President Juan Carlos Rodriguez, a senior Art Education major from Merillville, Ind. Rodriguez is excited to be a part of the 35-year milestone and the growing number of people who attend the event. 500 invitations were sent out this year, 100 more than were sent out in 2011.

"I am very proud and honored to have been able to be a part of something this special for multiple years," said Rodriguez. "It has changed and improved my life in many ways, and I plan on taking everything I have learned and applying it in a different city after graduation, spreading holiday cheer to those in need."

Members of the community have contributed to the party through the Rensselaer Rotary Club's fifth annual Run/Walk for Warmth drive held at 24/7 Club Fit in Rensselaer. The drive raised money for coats, hats, and gloves that Rotary will distribute Saturday at the party.

For more information or to donate new coats, hats, and gloves, contact Juan Carlos Rodriguez at or Fr. Stang at 219.866.6216 or

Saint Joseph's College, named a "character-building college" by the Templeton Foundation and a "best Midwestern college" by the Princeton Review, is a four-year, Catholic college offering 27 majors, 4 group majors, 34 minors, and 9 pre-professional programs, complemented by the nationally acclaimed Core Program. Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is located in Rensselaer, Indiana, approximately 90 minutes from both Chicago and Indianapolis, on a park-like campus of 180 acres and has an enrollment of 1,100 students.

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