By Matthew Scheidel
The Grand Rapids Community College Student Life and Conduct staff are hosting a Homecoming basketball tailgate event on Friday, Jan. 18, at 5 p.m. Free food and entertainment will be offered for all GRCC students, alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and families.
Erin Van Egmond from the GRCC Foundation offered some specifics on the kinds of food and entertainment that will be offered.
“For food, we will have pork sliders and a macaroni bar with different types of toppings,” Van Egmond said. “There will be some different sides as well as ’Raider’ desserts. There will be different family-friendly activities like corn-hole, temporary face tattoos, selfie-station, spirit station and some other games.”
GRCC Athletic Director Bill Firn said that since tailgating is an event that brings so many people together around sports, it was a great way to add to the tradition of GRCC Homecoming.
“Homecoming is synonymous with football, and with football comes tailgating,” Firn said. “Since GRCC no longer has a football team, the students and staff that helped plan Homecoming wanted to make Homecoming week a fun time that students, alumni, faculty and staff could show school spirit and pride in GRCC. It was decided that Homecoming would culminate around a GRCC sporting event. Last year was volleyball, and this year is women’s and men’s basketball.”
Van Egmond said that renovation of the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse was the reason why Homecoming week was held during the winter this year, rather than the fall.
“Last year was the first year we officially did Homecoming,” Van Egmond said. “Hosting Homecoming in the winter, with the rededication of the Fieldhouse, was the perfect opportunity to harness the excitement and energy.”
Van Egmond also mentioned that the event will take place inside the Hunsberger Arena, just at the north end. The event precedes the GRCC women’s basketball game, which starts at 5:30 p.m. against the Lake Michigan Community College Red Hawks. This will be followed by the GRCC men’s basketball game at 7:30 p.m., also against the Red Hawks.