When you think of UC alumni events in cities across the country, the first image might be a restaurant or bar with dozens of alums hanging out to watch the Bearcats basketball or football team in a big game on the big screen.
While that will always be a staple of UC camaraderie in the UC Alumni Association’s regional alumni networks, there is a concerted effort by UCAA and the alumni in those cities to diversify their activities and, in the process, bring more alumni into the network circle. Two recent examples took place in Dayton, Ohio, and Washington D.C.
Dennis Hole, A&S ’06, contacted a Dayton-area Toys for Tots drive and worked with Pete Hilgeman, Bus ’09, who offered his Dayton Beer Company microbrewery as a collection point. Hilgeman’s establishment was also the site for December’s UC-Xavier Crosstown Classic watch-party on Dec. 14. The event was communicated via email and social media. A partnership with Skyline Chili promised “Bring a toy, get a free cheese coney.” Even when the Dayton Beer Company was not hosting a UC event, the collection box filled up repeatedly during the campaign.
“We were surprised at the quality of the toys — how generous people were,” Hole said of the ongoing response. “This sort of initiative appeals to alumni who might not gravitate toward the purely sports-related events. This has really opened up people’s minds to what can be done.”
A different kind of community service event took place right across the Potomac from Washington on the same day as the Crosstown Classic. That morning, 24 UC alumni and family members met at Arlington National Cemetery to participate in the annual Wreaths Across America Day, when grateful and reflective citizens place wreaths on the graves of veterans to remember and honor their service and sacrifice.
“I had done this previously with a fraternity brother of mine and thought it was an amazing event,” said D.C. network leader Adam Thurn, CEAS ’10. “It’s extremely powerful and moving, and offers a firsthand look at the losses sustained to ensure our freedoms. Many of the volunteers brought their children and I’m sure wereable to have a teaching moment with them.”
“I heard many of the participants say they were happy to see our D.C. alumni network do something like this,” Thurn said. “We want to continue providing different options for becoming engaged with the UC Alumni Association."