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Notre Dame's visit about more than football

Fighting Irish band plans visit to The Children's Center in Bethany.
By Stephanie Kuzydym Published: October 23, 2012

— Every Saturday, 7-year-old Fletcher Burns wears a Boomer Sooner shirt.

He's an Oklahoma Sooner fan because his father is one.

Before Fletcher slips his shirt on before Saturday's Notre Dame — Oklahoma game, he'll listen to the fight song of the Fighting Irish when Notre Dame's band comes to visit him and his friends.

The Irish are coming, and not just to Norman.

When No. 5 Notre Dame plays No. 8 Oklahoma this weekend, there will be several special events besides the football game. There is an Irish band practice at Noble High School, a pep rally at the Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City, a tailgate party at Lloyd Noble Center and a trip by the entire band to The Children's Center in Bethany.

Fletcher has been a patient at The Children's Center since he was 1. Born with epidermal nevus syndrome as well as heart and lung disease, Fletcher needs constant care that helps him learn how to walk and talk.

But his mother doesn't need him to say it to know that he loves music.

“He loves his guitar,” Denise Burns said. “He always wants us to play it for him.”

On Friday, Denise thinks that Fletcher will be enthralled with the Notre Dame percussion section. Although he's only seen one marching band perform at a high school, she said she could see him loving the drums.

But why is Notre Dame's band making a trip to a hospital that is full of little Boomers and Sooners? They love to help out a community, whether it's with their instruments or their hands.

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OU-Notre Dame schedule of events



8 p.m. at Myriad Gardens Great Lawn

The Notre Dame Club of Oklahoma City won't let Irish fans go without their Friday night pep rally. Jason Beckstrom, a native Oklahoman and a member of the 1999 Irish team (the last Irish squad to play Oklahoma) will be one of the speakers. The Notre Dame Marching Band will also perform. The event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, Oct. 27:


Noon at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Norman

The church is located at 3939 W. Tecumseh Road.


1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Noble High School

The high school is located at 4601 E. Etowah Road in Noble. The practice is free and open to the public.


2 P.M. at Lloyd Noble Center on OU's campus

Located about one mile south of the football stadium, the Notre Dame Club of Oklahoma City is offering a tailgate party that starts four hours before kickoff with all-you-can-eat concessions for $40 per person. The tailgate party will also include beer, games, musical entertainment and large-screen televisions. The screens will remain up during the game for anyone who doesn't have a ticket that wants to watch the game.

For more information on these events, contact Mike Milligan at (405) 525-8331, ext. 1. Further details are available online at


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