Notre Dame Marching Band and cheer squad visit Regina


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A surprise Monday morning call to the Regina Catholic Education Center resulted in a packed gymnasium full of elementary-school students and a special performance by the University of Notre Dame marching band.

The Fighting Irish called only a few hours before its 2 p.m. performance took over the Iowa City school’s gymnasium and multipurpose theater as part of the Catholic university’s nationwide outreach program. Each year, the South Bend, Ind., university visits local Catholic elementary schools while traveling for sporting events. Notre Dame will face off against the Iowa women’s basketball team at 8:30 today in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Lee Iben, the Regina president and CEO, said the performance kick-started the school’s Holy Week festivities, which this year runs Sunday through Saturday.

“We have quite a few students who follow Notre Dame, and it gives them an opportunity to see what life is like in college at a Catholic university,” he said.

First-year Notre Dame Blue Leprechaun Lou Ganser said being the school’s mascot and traveling across the country has become more than simply spreading school spirit.

“These [visits] really make somebody’s day,” he said. “I think it’s really cool that wherever you go, you see the love for Notre Dame. This has been one of the best crowds we’ve ever had; we felt very welcome.”

Celeste Vincent, the Regina Elementary School principal, believed the spontaneous visit will continue to have long-term benefits at the student level, beyond the hourlong performance.

“They are just wonderful, exceptional role models at the college level that really show what it means to give back to others,” she said. “They will definitely remember this.”

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