After months of planning, UW Homecoming kicks off today with a campus cleanup to ready the campus for more than 20 events throughout the week. The activities will conclude with the football game against Michigan State Saturday, Oct. 27.

“Homecoming is a time of celebration for UW,” said Jim Strode, Homecoming executive co-chair. “It’s a time for the current students to celebrate heritage, reflect upon the accomplishments of UW, and a time for the alumni to come back and share with the students.”

Every year, all of the Homecoming proceeds go to the Dean of Students Crisis Fund, which helps students who need financial support in emergency situations, such as those who traveled home to New York and Washington, D.C., areas after the events of Sept. 11.

“The whole week will allow us to bring a lighthearted spirit to campus again, while doing our part to help those in need,” Strode said.

Last year, Homecoming festivities raised a total of $5,000. This year, the committee’s goal is to double the total proceeds to $10,000.

“[The Homecoming committee] decided to raise the bar this year, not only to get more funds for the Dean of Students Crisis Fund, but also to get more students involved,” Homecoming committee member Marci VanAdestine said.

“As always, the student volunteers on Homecoming Committee have done an outstanding job planning a mix of events that appeal to students, alumni, families and community members alike,” said Paula Bonner, Wisconsin Alumni Association President and CEO.

Traditional events to occur this week include a charity run/walk, Red Cross blood drive, Yell Like Hell competition, Multicultural Celebration of Cultures, fireworks on the Terrace and parade down State Street.

A new event in the Homecoming festivities lineup is a Charity Ball to be held on Saturday. The dance will be held on the first and second floors of Grainger Hall, which will be decorated as a fancy ball.

“The ball is an option for students to attend a formal event without being affiliated with a student organization,” Strode said.

The ball was open to students by RSVP only and has already reached its maximum capacity of 800 people.
The Homecoming committee urged all UW students to go out and participate, not only to help achieve the fundraising goal, but also to show their Badger spirit and pride in UW.