Fun & Fundraising: NPO Operated Concession Stand Spotlight


St. Paul Lutheran Church

Notre Dame is well known for its many longstanding traditions. The list is extensive and includes traditions of all kinds. Notre Dame is also well known for its commitment to the community and its constant effort to give back. One of the best example of a longstanding tradition rooted in Notre Dame’s desire to give back to the South Bend community is the Nonprofit Organization management of concession stands at Notre Dame Football games.

There are 53 NPOs that run concession stands at Football games, some of which also operate stands at other Notre Dame sporting events such as Basketball and Hockey. Combined, these 53 groups have 210 years of experience managing concession stands at ND. St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church claims 15 of the 210 combined years, as they began managing a stand in 1998. Celebrating its 135th anniversary this year, it seemed like a perfect time to highlight this giving group who is an important part of Game Days at Notre Dame.


St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church looks to spread the Gospel by “reaching out to those in need and trying to meet those needs in a very real and personal way,” explains Eileen Hayen, Team Leader from St. Paul. Operating concession stands at Notre Dame, the largest of their fundraisers, allows the group at St. Paul to support activities designed to help people in need. The activities they support include the Food Bank, Healthy Families, the Hope Rescue Mission in Downtown South Bend and Hope Ministries, Bibles for the Military, both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, a number of youth group activities, local school activities, and internal church initiatives.

Volunteering at Notre Dame has provided the group from St. Paul with the opportunity to have different people work together in a fun environment. “The excitement and challenges of the different sporting events brings us in close contact with not only the local community but also all the visitors that come to each home game,” says Hayen. In their 15 years operating a concession stand, the folks from St. Paul have developed a good number of “repeat customers” who they look forward to seeing on game days. “Each time we thank them for coming to Notre Dame and our stand, they respond with ‘see you next game!’”

For St. Paul Lutheran Church, operating a concession stand at Notre Dame Stadium brings an opportunity to both raise funds and have fun. “We appreciate Notre Dame giving non-profit groups the opportunity to be part of the Notre Dame Experience, thereby allowing all of us to earn critical funds to accomplish our specific goals,” says Hayen. The appreciation is mutual, as Notre Dame is grateful for all St. Paul does to help make the Game Day experience memorable for fans and keeping them coming back again and again.

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Here To Help: NDFD


NDFD Mission Statement:The University of Notre Dame Fire Department (NDFD) is dedicated to the preservation of life and property and to the promotion of fire safety through public education, inspections and fire protection system maintenance.

The Notre Dame Fire Department is America’s first University fire department and has served the University of Notre Dame, St. Mary’s College, Holy Cross College and surrounding areas since 1879. Serving three colleges, 15,000 citizens, and a population that swells to over 100,000 during a football game, the demands are high on the Notre Dame Fire Department.

Members of the University of Notre Dame Fire Department devote a significant portion of their lives by working 24 hours shifts to safeguard the Notre Dame Community. “Everybody in the firehouse wants to be here, they are excited to make a difference. So the sacrifice is part of our calling,” says Assistant Chief Tim Hoeppner.


As a full service safety agency, NDFD is a vital component of the University’s mission to provide a safe environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors. NDFD has evolved from volunteers responding to ringing alarms to a professional department that seeks to prevent fires through public education, fire code inspections and fire protection system maintenance. “We are trained and equipped to respond to the 1300 calls for service we receive annually” says Fire Chief Bruce Harrison. The modern day Notre Dame Fire Department has 16 full time firefighters. The chief, assistant chief, and two fire protection technician/firefighters work weekdays while the three rotating 24 hour shifts are each staffed with a captain, a lieutenant, and two firefighter/emergency medical technicians. Thirty part-time firefighters are used for shift vacancies, football games and other special events.

Click here to view the full 2013 NDFD roster

When asked about the preparation for a home football weekend, Fire Chief Bruce Harrison explains his group is excited for the opportunity to serve the University. "We prepare every day as if it were a game day and everyone here takes pride in being a part of the game day experience. To be there when we are needed, to direct, or interact…whatever we are called to do. We are an enthusiastic group that takes pride in having a plan and executing. However, we don’t service our community alone during football weekends. Groups like the South Bend Fire Department, Clay Fire Department, and the F.A.S.T. team inside the stadium are monumental to our success. Notre Dame is very large city on Game Day and without the added assistance of these individuals, some of whom are volunteers, it would almost be impossible to efficiently respond to all of the requests. " These efforts have produce great results, including a less than 2.2 minute average response time and a reputation of skilled and compassionate service.

NDFD is an important part of the Notre Dame family. “It’s amazing how many people stop by the firehouse on game day to say hello, and we appreciate every single one of them. At the end of the day we are here to serve and protect our community and that is what we live by. To have the opportunity to wear the Blue and Gold Maltese Cross, it’s truly an honor” says Harrison.


On a football weekend it is more than fitting to celeberate those who are of service to our nation and communities. Without such individuals, enjoying a football game in a safe environment would not be possible. Each Game Day, be sure to take a moment and give thanks to the brave men and women who risk their lives every day to protect our lives, homes and property. When you firefighters on Game Day, and every day, be sure to thank them for their service, bravery, and sacrifice.

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From Sea to Shining Sea

A Legendary Rivalry Built on Gratitude & Respect for the US Navy


On Saturday, November 2nd Notre Dame and Navy will come together at Notre Dame Stadium to compete and celebrate the longest uninterrupted intersectional rivalry in college football, which began in 1927.

Notre Dame leads the series 73-12-1. Prior to 2007 Notre Dame had a winning streak of 43 games, the longest series win streak between two annual opponents in the history of Division I FBS football. While there is great history between these two footballs programs, the relationship between the Naval Academy and the University of Notre Dame is one that is built on more than football alone.

During World War II Notre Dame faced financial troubles that many feared would force the University to close its doors. However, the Secretary of the U.S. Navy, at the recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz, agreed to make Notre Dame a training center for the Navy and paid to use University facilities, allowing Notre Dame to keep its doors open. In a letter to Admiral Nimitz, Notre Dame President Rev. Hugh O’Donnell, expressed the University’s deepest gratitude for the opportunity to continue to be Notre Dame and train men for the United States of America. He wrote, “Yes, Notre Dame is doing its part. We are in this war as much as you are. But Notre Dame is still operating as Notre Dame. We are training men for America, for today and tomorrow.” According to the United States Navy, by 1945 the Notre Dame Naval Reserve Officers Training Program resulted in over 10,000 trainees being commissioned ensigns in the naval reserve.

Since the Navy’s incredible gesture and partnership during that time, Notre Dame has invited the Midshipmen to play the Fighting Irish each year. Throughout the series the Irish and Midshipmen have twice traveled across the ocean to compete in Ireland, most recently meeting in 2012 at Aviva Stadium, further signifying and solidifying an unbreakable bond built on mutual respect between Navy and Notre Dame.

The Irish will kick off against Navy on Saturday, November 2nd at 3:30 PM ET and the game will be broadcast on NBC.

Message from Rev. Hugh O’Donnell to Admiral Chester Nimitz:



My address on the Nineteenth annual Universal Notre Dame Night is a little different. The sons and friends of Notre Dame will not mind if I say a few words to a friend of Notre Dame, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz ’05 (Naval Academy). He is somewhere in Far Eastern waters. He may be on his favorite submarine, aboard a battleship, or aloft a plane, directing operations against the enemy. Even now, he may be engaged in battle.

Admiral Nimitz, wherever you are, Notre Dame greets you. I send this message on behalf of 15,000 Notre Dame men throughout the world. A thousand of them are in our armed forces. This is in keeping with our heritage of patriotism…


Last fall, Admiral, you gave a Navy Day address in Washington Hall. You had never been on our campus before, but you and Notre Dame were not strangers. We had admired you for a long time, and you knew us and our traditions. As Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, you recommended to the Secretary of the Navy the establishment of the Notre Dame unit of the Naval R. O. T. C.

Did you know that our students have doubled up to make room for a thousand of your boys-future officers of the United States Navy? They are sitting before me now.

Yes, Notre Dame is doing its part. We are in this war as much as you are. But Notre Dame is still operating as Notre Dame. We are training men for America, for today and tomorrow.

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Irish Eyes: On the Road vs. Air Force

Thanks to all of our fans who showed us their #NDgameday on the road vs. Air Force this past weekend! Check out our TOP 10 below. Each contributor will be contacted regarding their prize!

Shout Out to Our Little Irish!

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#NDgameday on the Road


An Irish Eyes First

For the first time we will be posting #NDgameday photos on our site from an away game weekend AND awarding winning followers with Game Day sunglasses!


Whether you’ll be tailgating and attending the game in Colorado Springs or hosting a game watch at your house all the way across the country, we want to see what a road game looks like through your eyes! The Top 10 photos from ND vs. Air Force weekend will be selected and featured on on Monday, October 28th.

And keep an eye on our Twitter account and our Instagram account We’ll be bringing #NDgameday to you from Colorado Springs!

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Honor & Tradition: Notre Dame vs. Air Force


On Saturday, October 25th the Irish Football team will board a plane for Colorado Springs, CO for their matchup against the Air Force Falcons. While every game is an important one, Saturday’s contest holds some added significance.

Notre Dame’s relationship with the Air Force Academy is one deeply rooted in history, as Saturday will mark the 30th meeting between the Irish and the Falcons. While there are longer series in Notre Dame Football’s record book, it is important to note that for the past 30 years this game has been an opportunity for the Irish to express their deepest gratitude and respect for the men and women of the Air Force Academy.

Players, coaches, and fans truly enjoy playing the Air Force Academy and all service academies. “What we love about it is the academies and the mission of the universities, the honor, the tradition, the code, you know what it represents, the academics, the kind of young men that will be represented on the football field, all those things make for that Saturday on that football field a great collegiate environment when both these teams play,” said Head Coach Brian Kelly.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 5:06 PM ET. You can watch the Irish on the CBS Sports Network, or listen to the game on IMG College Sports Radio or Sirius XM channel 129.

Heading to the game? Click here for a list of events hosted by the Notre Dame Club of Colorado Springs

No matter where you’re enjoying Game Day, in Colorado Springs or at home, be sure to show us your Game Day photos using #NDgameday on Twitter and Instagram! We’ll select our Top 10 favorite photos, post them online, AND reward the winning followers with Game Day sunglasses!

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Rocky Mountain Ready

Notre Dame vs. Air Force Phone Wallpapers

Get ready for the game in Colorado Springs, and show your support the Irish this week as they prepare to take on Air Force, with our special Air Force week phone wallpaper downloads!

iPhone Wallpaper



Blackberry Wallpaper



The Irish take on the Falcons on Saturday, October 26th at 5:06 PM ET. You can watch the game on the CBS Sports Network or listen to the game on IMG College Sports radio and SiriusXM channel 129.

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The Usher Report


Always dressed in their traditional yellow jackets and hats, the Notre Dame ushers are charged with organizing more than 80,000 fans who fill the seats at Notre Dame Stadium each and every home game Saturday to cheer on the Irish. Visitors and students would agree they are engrained in the tradition of home football weekends.

While some fans may think ushers are solely associated with football weekends, Jim Smith, Crowd Control Program Manager for the Notre Dame Athletics Department, explains there is a wide range of events that keeps their crew busy throughout the year. “We staff about 140 events a month for about 80,000 man-hours a year,” Smith said.


Smith, who is in his third season as Crowd Control Program Manager and his 21st year in the Usher program, oversees over 900 ushers on the roster, with approximately 700 of these individuals staffing each football game. Among the ushers we find residents of 22 states and Canada. Notre Dame’s single usher from Canada, Paul Matthews of Ottawa, Ontario, has been traveling more than 14 hours to volunteer at every home game since 2002. No distance is great enough to keep Notre Dame’s committed and passionate ushers away from campus.

So what is it that brings this large group back to campus for each home football game? "They come for the love of the University, to be a part of the game day experience, and to make others happy. It’s a pilgrimage for some to come here,” Smith said. Notre Dame Ushers have a bond with Notre Dame. With half of the ushers volunteering their time on game days, you know it has to be a special place to keep them coming back.

Notre Dame Ushers have an opportunity to be part of a truly special Game Day experience for thousands of fans. When we ask Notre Dame Ushers about their favorite moments on Game Days, the consensus is seeing the Notre Dame faithful step into Notre Dame Stadium for the first time and break into tears.

In addition to the special moments the Ushers experience each game weekend, each and every usher also has a sincere sense of loyalty to their role and the University. “We try to be ambassadors for the University. Most of the people who come here on game day aren’t going to see Father Jenkins. They’re going to interact with an usher. So the impression that usher leaves is going to be the impression of the University, so we try to make that as positive an experience as possible."

Notre Dame ushers combine their passion and duty to create a memorable game experience for Irish fans who come to Notre Dame Stadium. While we are grateful for each of them, they are grateful to each of you for allowing them to be a special part of your Game Day experience.

Interested in the Usher program? Send us an email at Also, check back on as we profile individual ushers throughout the year.

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Irish Eyes: USC Weekend

Shout out to our little Irish!

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USC Weekend Mass Times

Due to the 7:30 pm start of the Notre Dame vs. USC game on October 19th, the traditional post game Basilica and Stepan Center masses have been moved to pre-kickoff. For the complete schedule of masses throughout USC weekend, please see below:


Saturday, October 19th

Basilica of the Sacred Heart – 4:00 PM

Alumni, Ryan, Dillion, Morrissey, and Siegfried – 4:00 PM

Stepan Center – 4:30 PM

Keough and Sorin – 5:00 PM

Sunday, October 20th

Basilica of the Sacred Heart – 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, and 11:45 AM

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Nice Wheels: Game Day Pedal Cab Service

Game Day Operations, in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, offers a “green” method of transportation on game days. Our three, human powered pedal cabs are operated by student organizations. A $10 donation to the cab operator’s club will get you a fun and environmentally friendly ride across campus!


To ensure safety, cabs are limited to transporting two passengers at a time. Pedal cabs operate on a “flag down” basis and they provide one-way rides. Keep an eye out for these green machines across campus during the hours of operation listed below:

Hours of Operation

Friday: 3:00-6:00 PM

Saturday: 12:00-6:00 PM

Comments or Questions about the Pedal Cab Service?

We want to hear from you! Email us at

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Golden Notes: Trumpets Under the Dome

For everyone here in the Game Day office, we feel a home game coming as soon as the clock hits zero on the previous weekend's game. However, for everyone else in here in the Dome, they feel the game weekend arrive at 4:00 PM on Fridays when hundreds of fans fill the rotunda of the Main Building to catch the Notre Dame Trumpets play under the Dome. !/assets/115317/480x/trumpets.jpg(trumpets)! Fans fill the rings of the third and fourth floors of the Dome to look down at the Trumpets on the second floor as they play the Alma Mater and the Victory March. It's a great way to welcome fans and the arrival of a Notre Dame Football weekend. Coming to campus this weekend? Be sure to catch the trumpets today, *Friday, October 18th at 4:00 PM*. Can't make it? Catch "Trumpets Under the Dome" on *Saturday, October 19th at 6:30 PM*. For this performance, the Trumpets will line the third and fourth floors of the Main Building, so grab a great viewing spot on the second floor. "Click here for a full list of activities for the October 18th-20th game weekend":

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The Notre Dame Experience

Join Us for the Ultimate ND Fan Experience


The Notre Dame Experience will be open to the public from 12 PM – 7:00 PM on Saturday, October 19th in the Joyce Fieldhouse (north dome). Admission is free to the ND Experience. The ND Experience allows fans to emulate their favorite Irish player by participating in one of the four different interactive football games. Fans may also visit the other displays throughout the Notre Dame Experience for photo opportunities or to collect giveaways and samples for people of all ages.…

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USC Pep Rally

Show Your Support for the Irish on October 18th at 5:45 PM


Come out and support the Fighting Irish as they prepare to take on USC under the lights! The pep rally will kickoff with the cheerleaders, Marching Band and Irish Guard. Special guests include Lou Holtz and the 1988 National Championship team.

Make sure you arrive early to hear 2010 Alum Pat McKillen perform hits from his soon to be released album, the Red Headed Enemy, at 4:15 PM!

Come out to get the Fighting Irish ready for GAME DAY against USC! They need you, Irish fans!

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Stand With Boston

On Saturday, October 19th the Notre Dame Knights of Columbus, Council #1477, will be selling their famed steak sandwiches in front of their building on South Quad. In addition to feeding hundreds of hungry fans, the Knights will “Stand With Boston” by donating all tips to the Stand With Boston Prosthetics Drive.


The Knights of Columbus steak sandwich stand is a longstanding, Game Day tradition that began in 1968 when the Knights wanted to find a way to give back to local charities in the community. By 1970 the Knights were selling 500 sandwiches per game, and by 1974 the number grew to 1,200. The council started each weekend knowing they would raise about $1,000 per game by the time kickoff rolled around.

The success of the Knights of Columbus’ steak sandwich sales has continued to grow over the years, allowing the council to help even more charities in even bigger ways. Today, approximately 30 Knights come together each week to continue the tradition. At about 10:30 AM each Football Saturday, the lines of hungry fans begin to form as the steaks begin to sear on the grill. Not long after 10:30 the lines begin to stretch across South Quad and God Quad and each person that jumps in line is guaranteed a great sandwich and a big “thank you!” for contributing to the various charities.

By the time the Irish take the field on Saturday, the Knights will have sold approximately 3,000 steak sandwiches and raised a large sum of money for charities, including the Stand With Boston Prosthetics Drive. We invite all fans to head over to South Quad on game days to grab a steak sandwich in support of charity, particularly this Saturday as we look to Stand With Boston.

To all those impacted by the tragedy in Boston:

Know you are in our prayers daily and we stand with you on Saturday, October 19th and always.

In Notre Dame,

The Game Day Operations team and the Notre Dame family

#BostonStrong #StandWithBoston

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Leaders of the Pack: the Notre Dame Bagpipe Band

It is a distinct, unmistakable sound that can be heard all across campus just over two hours prior to kick-off on home game Saturdays. The Notre Dame Bagpipe Band’s rendition of “Scotland the Brave” has become Notre Dame’s battle hymn in a way, as it is the song played to lead the Fighting Irish Football team into the Stadium.


The kilt clad group of fourteen who plays this song to clear the path from the Library to the gates of the Stadium is unique not only in its collective ability to play the ancient bagpipe and accompanying drums, but also in that it is composed of both Notre Dame students and Faculty. The Bagpipe Band is an important and loved part of Game Day (especially by the Game Day Operations staff!) and we think it is about time you meet this kilted crew:

Colin Patience

Year: Senior, 2014

Hometown: Apple Valley, MN

Colin is the Captain of the Bagpipe Band and he has 7 years of playing the bagpipes under his belt. His favorite part of Game Day is piping the football team into the stadium and heading out to the tailgates with family and friends.

Dan Gezelter

Department: Chemistry & Biochemistry

Hometown: South Bend, IN

Dan is an Associate Professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at Notre Dame. He has been playing the bagpipes for 30 years and is able to offer his experience and expertise to his fellow pipers. For Dan the best part of Game Day is when the Bagpipe Band warms up outside of Washington Hall before the performances begin.

Aedan Cannon

Year: Junior, 2015

Hometown: Ridgewood, NJ

With a name like his, he was destined to play the bagpipes. Aedan has been piping for 10 years and this is his third season with the band. He most enjoys marching in the player walk, a beloved tradition at Notre Dame that has been enhanced with the addition of the Bagpipe Band.

James Burke

Year: Freshman, 2017

Hometown: East Islip, NY

Although he is one of the youngest members of the band, James still brings 6 years of experience playing the bagpipes to the band. In his first season as a student, James has found his favorite part of Game Day to be the vibrant spirit that can be found throughout the campus.

Jacob Ricci

Year: Freshman, 2017

Hometown: Brookfield, WI

When you hear the snare drums roll just before the bagpipes begin the play, one of them is being played by Jacob. He has been playing the snare drum for 6 years and this is his first season with the Bagpipe Band. He most enjoys celebrating an Irish win with family and friends on Game Day.

Dan Brown

Year: Senior, 2014

Hometown: Ashburn, VA

Dan began to play the snare drum 2 years ago and he is key member of the Bagpipe Band. His favorite part of Game Day is the Player Walk, which makes us at Game Day happy to know the band enjoys this tradition as much as we do!

James Elliot

Year: Sophomore, 2016

Hometown: Bellmore, NY

James has been playing the bagpipes for 9 years and this is his second season with the Bagpipe Band. Similar to many of his fellow band mates, the Player Walk is James’ favorite part of Game Day.

Dan Suma

Year: Sophomore, 2016

Hometown: Rochester Hills, MI

Having played the bagpipes for only one year, Dan has had some excellent teachers in his fellow band mates. Dan’s favorite part of Game Day is the Glee Club pregame concert.

Dan Lynch

Year: Sophomore, 2016

Hometown: Perkasie, PA

Dan has also had great leadership and teaching for his first year playing the bagpipes. Who better to learn from than the Notre Dame Bagpipe Band? Dan’s favorite Game Day tradition is the Marching Band concert on the steps of Bond Hall. After you catch the Player Walk, make sure you make your way over to see Dan’s favorite Game Day activity.

Dylan Klee

Year: Sophomore, 2016

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

Dylan has been playing the bagpipes for 3 years. For him the best part of Game Day is waking up to his dorm mates running through the hallways at 8 AM screaming, “WAKE UP, IT’S GAMEDAY!” Dylan, we think you should join them in their wake-up ritual by adding in the sweet sound of the bagpipes.

Brandon Peterson

Year: 2007, MTS 2009, PhD 2014

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA

Brandon, who is on his way to becoming a triple Domer, plays the snare drum in the Bagpipe Band. Having been a Notre Dame student first in the Fall of 2003, Brandon has seen the enhancements that have been made to Game Day AND he is part of one. Brandon has been playing for the past 10 years and his favorite part of Game Day is experiencing ND touchdowns. Spoken like a true Domer, Brandon!

Joseph Hess

Year: Law School 2nd year, 2015

Hometown: Dayton, OH,

To add to the group’s diversity, Joseph is one of two Law students in the Bagpipe Band. He has been playing the tenor drum for 2 years and he most enjoys the excitement and enthusiasm of the fans on Game Day.

Graeme Quinn

Year: Law School 2nd year, 2015

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Graeme is the second Law student in the Bagpipe Band. When you feel yourself shake a bit as the Bagpipe Band passes by playing, that is thanks to Graeme! He plays the bass drum, which he has been doing for the past two years. Graeme’s favorite part of Game Day is the Player Walk.

Dominic Vachon

Department: M.Div, PhD: Ruth Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine, Preprofessional Studies Department

Hometown: Ft. Pierce, FL

Rounding out the group is Dr. Vachon who brings the most years of bagpipe playing experience to the band, as he has been playing for 31 years. His favorite part of Game Day is joining with his band mates to lead the team into the Stadium.

To the Notre Dame Bagpipe Band:

On behalf of the entire Game Day Operations team, thank you for you dedication to and enthusiasm for Game Day! We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with such a fantastic crew. See you on Saturday!

-The Game Day team

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