Badger Friday Program at AFCH
Badgers Give Back has been spreading smiles, one Friday at a time for nearly 2 decades! Wisconsin student-athletes visit the American Family Children’s hospital every Friday throughout the semester to visit with patients by going room to room, sharing smiles and giving gifts such as autographed posters, t-shirts, board games and teddy bears.
Why Badger Friday program
By supporting this program at the Kentucky Derby event on Saturday, May 4, 2019, t-shirts and gifts can be given out to more kids through the Badger Friday program for the 2019 / 2020 school year. We’re giving more opportunities for both student-athletes and patients to share smiles and brighten each other's day.
The beginning of Badger Fridays
These visits began as a tradition over 17 years ago, when UW Director of Athletics, Barry Alvarez was the head coach. The football team made special visit to the children's hospital as part of their Friday pre-game ritual. Badger Fridays have now expanded to involve all the sports teams at UW-Madison.
Meaningful for the patients & families
"The weekly Badger Friday visits from the student-athletes are really appreciated by the patients and families. Many patients look forward to meeting student-athletes from many different teams at UW-Madison. Some patients even get decked out in their Badger gear before the visit to make those photos with the student-athletes extra special to share with their families.” — Julie Auenson, Child Life Services Manager for the American Family Children's Hospital
Huge impact on student athletes
"It's priceless to see the massive grin on some of the kids' faces when we walk into the room. I am constantly inspired by their strength and positivity.” — Kelsey Grambeau, a junior on the 2016 women's tennis team
"The visits to the children's hospital are a favorite among our student-athletes. It’s a great opportunity for student-athletes to promote our mission of enriching lives by encouraging, engaging and serving others.” — Jackie Davenport, Director of Community Relations for UW Athletics
Quotes are from an article first posted Dec 23, 2016 on uwbadgers.com