The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Love & basketball & Mayflower

By Lilianna Bagnoli

The Grinnell Men’s Basketball Team is having a great season and may have the residents of the local Mayflower Community to thank for their morale.

During Winter Break, the team spent an evening with some of their biggest supporters, residents of the Mayflower Community facility, when ten independent Mayflower residents hosted a dinner for the team.

The residents (including George Drake, who served as Grinnell College President from 1979-1991) are regulars at the basketball games and often claim some of the best seats in the crowd.

“I can recognize them,” said Dominique Bellamy ’13. “They sit right behind us. I see them coming on and off the court.”

The residents chose to provide a meal for the players, who were on campus over winter break for training and games without access to the nutritious Grinnell College Dining Services.

“It was nice to get to know some of the elderly people in the community,” said Hayes Gardner ’15. “They were really hospitable to us.”

The meal took place in the main dining room at Mayflower Community and attendees were served a pasta buffet, catered by Mayflower.

“It was a really classy evening,” said Evan Johnson ’15.

Attendees were divided into tables consisting of about five or six players and two or three residents that hosted each table. The players and residents spent the evening chatting and getting to know each other.

“I don’t even think we talked about basketball,” Johnson said about the conversations of the evening.

Gardner had the opportunity to eat with a couple that had met at and graduated from Grinnell.

“The man proposed to his wife in Loose Lounge,” Gardner said. “They had a lot of cool stories about when they were on campus and how it was different.”

The relationship between Mayflower Community and Grinnell College is a long-standing one.

“Many residents are Grinnell alumni that come back to Grinnell due to their college experience,” said Scott Gruhn, Director of Food Services at Mayflower and coordinator of the dinner.

Bellamy had an opportunity to eat with another Grinnell alumni couple and hear about ye olde Grinnell College.

“I learned a lot about the school and how it’s changed,” Bellamy said. “The school used to be divided into men’s and women’s dorms. They asked us what we planned to do and it’s good to hear what they did after they graduated from Grinnell.”

Many residents’ return to Grinnell were motivated by the close-knit community surrounding the College.

“They just liked the community,” Bellamy said. “They wanted to raise their kids here.”

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