If any Gustavus student or visitor keeps their eyes peeled, they may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Moana, Mulan, or Rapunzel walking up and down the halls of the Student Center.
This has not always been the case at Gustavus, typically the Student Center provides sights of college student chugging coffee or trudging towards the library.
The changethis year is Gustavus’s new student organization on campus: A Moment of Magic.
A Moment of Magic has one main goal: to provide happiness and joy to children spending time in children’s hospitals.
While the organiztion is a national organization, Gustavus’ A Moment of Magic organization focuses on local hospitals.
Essentially, members of the organization dress up, very elaborately, as, a prince or princess (although, of course, there are variations).
These costumes are not cheap and members have to find ways to pay for them, often turning to fundraising websites.
But the efforts are certainly worth it, often ending in spot-on reenactments of beloved fairytale characters.
Last Saturday, April 21, A Moment of Magic hosted a Saturday Night in Lund (SNL) called “Tie in the Magic” in which students were invited to participate in tie-blanket crafting, air-square volleyball, and Dominos pizza.
Student organizations that host an SNL can receive funding if they successfully host a certain number of students–exactly what A Moment of Magic was hoping to do.
“One of our main priorities is to make our organization more known by the Gustavus student body, since we are a new organization (as of this year) we want to gain recognition and what better way than to host an SNL.Also, we wanted to give students a chance to get involved in putting a smile on kids’ faces. Tie-blankets are made with love, and the more people who help make the blanket the more special the blanket is” Sophomore Lilly Soderberg, A Moment of Magic’s On-Campus Coordinator, said.
In this position she plans and coordinates all on-campus events for A Moment of Magic
And the planning for this particular event has been in the works since the fall semester and then all came together this spring semester.
In order to create a successful event, Soderberg had to compile a list of potential activities for students to partake in, ordering the Domino’s pizza, purchasing the materials for the tie-blankets, and meeting with various people to finalize the event. Soderberg’s character is Moana from the animated movie Moana released in 2016s.
The group chose to make tie blankets so they “can bring them to children with serious medical illnesses when we visit them in the hospitals or their homes. We hope that these will brighten their days just a little because everyone likes a surprise gift, especially from a prince or princess” Sophomore Ashlynn Franzen, a member of A Moment of Magic said.
But the organization did not just want to bring happiness to the children they would be delivering the blankets to at local hospitals, but to raise awareness for their fairly new student organization.
“Another goal is to help advertise for this new organization–we want to welcome anyone and everyone to join and participate!” Sophomore Katelyn Yee, the groups’ Off-Campus Coordinator, said.
Yee fulfills her role by reaching out to families and larger organizations to schedule and organize visits from members of A Moment of Magic, whether they be characters of Magic Makers, to participate in.
Her particular character is Mulan from Disney’s animated movie Mulan.
Members believe that awareness of their organization on campus is important not just to gain members and a future as a student organization at Gustavus, but also because childhood cancer and other serious illnesses the children suffer from that they visit are becoming increasingly common in today’s society as people become more aware of them.
“It’s so important for us as we enter the ‘real’ world to learn [how] to help others in need” Yee said.
Furthermore, this organization is important because students should “learn what volunteering is like outside of a class or something that you are obligated to do: to experience small victories that could mean everything to you, because you are expecting absolutely nothing in return” Junior Morgan Carlstrom said, one of the presidents of A Moment of Magic.
Students are encouraged to reach out to any of the members mentioned, or any they know personally, if they are interested in getting involved. Male volunteers are especially needed; if students want to get involved they can email firstname.lastname@example.org.