Winterfest 2016: Broomball Or A Swim Meet?
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Winterfest 2016: Broomball Or A Swim Meet?

What a 60 degree day does to an ice rink.

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Winterfest 2016: Broomball Or A Swim Meet?

Had you happened to be walking up Hill Street in Ann Arbor anytime after about 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, you couldn’t have failed to notice a multitude of people walking up and down, decked out in jerseys, cheering, and just being generally excited. Confused, you may have wondered, "How can this be? There are no football game days in February!" While this is correct, Saturday in Ann Arbor certainly felt like a game day, just maybe not for our football team.

This Saturday marked the annual broomball tournament put on by the fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi to support the Autism Alliance of Michigan. This event involves a number of Greek organizations rallying teams and entering in the tournament to hit a ball around an ice rink. Winterfest regularly raises tens of thousands of dollars for the cause and the event in 2015 beat its goal of $35,000.

As well as being very effective in raising money for this worthy cause, the Winterfest also provides the Greek community, and the larger Michigan community as a whole, an excuse to come together and mingle between different organizations on a day of friendly competition. This year, more than 20 different fraternities and sororities registered to participate, including both all-male and all-female organizations. The popularity of this event created a diverse crowd and an energetic, competitive atmosphere.

Coupled with the game-day excitement that followed bringing all of Greek life together, this event was also amplified, and complicated, this year by a record high of 61 degrees. While this really helps to make people happy and keep spectators comfortable, it really doesn’t help in terms of keeping ice cold. The day got increasingly interesting as more and more of the ice rink melted. This resulted in players having to run through, at times, as much as six inches of water. However, this did not nothing to dampen (pardon the pun) enthusiasm and the crowd remained until almost 7:00 p.m.

Winterfest is an incredibly successful, well attended event that serves the dual purpose of uniting a large portion of the Michigan community in a friendly, competitive way and raising thousands of dollars for a worthy cause.

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