If you have been to a hockey game recently, you might have noticed people throwing hockey pucks into the rink between periods. You may have also noticed people wearing wristbands bearing the slogan “Brendan—strength and hope.”
This is in honor of Brendan Loney, a Gustavus student who was in a diving accident that broke his neck this past summer. On Saturday, Feb. 27, from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. at Patrick’s Bar and Grill, a student-hosted event called Loney Fest will take place to raise money for the Brendan Loney Supplemental Needs Trust.
“[Brendan] was a part of everybody. He had an inside joke with everyone. He just had that type of a relationship with everyone,” Sophomore Ross Ring-Jarvi said.
Brendan’s friends describe him as fun, courageous, outgoing, upbeat and inspirational. “You have to like him,” Senior Management Major Joe Welch said.
When students heard about Brendan’s accident, they quickly rallied and began fundraising for him. “[The fund-raising process is] bigger than Brendan. It was a tragic accident that could happen to anyone. … He would be doing the same thing if it had happened to anyone else,” Welch said.
Some of the people who have been most involved in the process are the hockey team, Tau Psi Omega fraternity, Tau Mu Tau sorority and the fraternity that Brendan was a member of, Phi Alpha.
“We all just wanted to help out and lend a hand,” Junior Management Major Andrew Valen said. Valen also stressed that they wanted to raise money in a way that would be most enjoyable for the students.
In doing so, this Saturday students can contribute to the cause in multiple ways. From 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., a Gustavus band will be on stage. During this time, students of all ages can make free will donations, buy T-shirts and bandanas and enjoy the music. At 10:00 p.m., IDs will be checked, and then the party will continue with Dim Light Shining taking the stage from 12:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
“It’s hard to put down in words what a friend means to you,” Welch said. Through their actions, the students of Gustavus have shown their support for their friend and classmate Brendan Loney.