The 2019 Hoover Hop marked the largest attendance in event history with its biannual fundraiser on Saturday, October 26. Organized and hosted by the student-led Hoover Hop committee, more than 150 guests attended the sixth Hoover Hop, which raised more than $800 for Walsh 2012 alumnus Erin Clark’s non-profit organization, LINC Worldwide, which is currently building a school for children in Kenya.
“LINC Worldwide has a direct connection to our Walsh community. Many of us remember Erin and it’s a cause everyone can get behind,” said Theology and Philosophy senior Allison Stump. “Her work also hit close to home for me as well. As a Blouin Global Scholar, we spent time in Tanzania and were able to visit with children in orphanages on the boarder between Tanzania and Kenya. That experience renewed my resolve to do whatever we can to help the people we met there.”
Launched in 2016, the Hoover Hop dance is a harvest themed event held on Walsh’s campus. This year’s event included guest celebrity bartenders Dr. Tim and Drenda Collins serving seasonal mocktails, DJ alumnus Danny Fill, and a full meal made possible by the generous donations of Sodexo, Giant Eagle, Chick-Fil-A and additional community support.
Giving back to the greater community has always been at the heart of the dance. Past Hops have raised money for initiatives with ties to Walsh including the rebuilding efforts of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, the recovery of Walsh student Monica Holiday, the Rachel Project and the Sisters of Charity work in Haiti. As a part of this semester’s planning process, the committee welcomed Erin Clark back to campus to meet with the student-organizers and personally share the LINC Worldwide mission and future plans.
“Having fun for an amazing cause is what we do,” said Theology and Philosophy senior Frederick del Guidice. “At the dance, we had a table set up for students to write a note to the children in Kenya for when the school opens in 2020. I think that extra step of personal outreach is something special. When you get to see that kind of illumination and how our students carry the attitude of service to the greater community, that’s what makes this event a success.”
This semester’s event also included an aspect of prayer with committee members selecting Francis de Sales and Vincent de Paul as the event’s Patron Saints. The student Hoover Hop committee members have already begun preparation for the spring Hoover Hop scheduled for February or March.
“I had a conversation with Campus Ministry Director Ben Walther at the event, and he commented that it isn’t just a dance anymore. The Hoover Hop has become a part of the culture of Walsh. That is really something that has stuck with me,” said Allison Stump. “For me, I would love this event to be our legacy at Walsh. But, if it should go away, our hope is that the spirit of the event continues to grow on campus. Having fun, but for a good cause, with a global citizenry mindset.”