Badgers Give Back Big

March 23rd, 2023

There is plenty to be proud of when it comes to the UW Badgers. On and off the court they not only shine as athletes but prove to be outstanding ambassadors in the community. Giving back is the Wisconsin way.

Over the last nine months, many UW Badger teams have visited the Ronald McDonald House bringing smiles to guest families by making meals, celebrating holidays and milestones, and stuffing backpacks with gifts, books, and toys for our Care Mobile.

In late February, the UW Men’s Basketball team came to the House for a special evening making dinner and prepping for a social media campaign that is launching later this spring, as part of our 30th Anniversary. The men were in high spirits and exactly what four young patients and their families needed after an exhausting day at the hospital.

One young four-year-old was celebrating his birthday after a day of chemotherapy. Not an easy day for anyone, but especially for someone that young. Sitting quietly in a corner with his family and small basketball, the athletes came up one by one to give high fives and sign his ball. It is a birthday he will not soon forget.

In the next room, one of our frequent fliers – a nickname lovingly given to patients who make regular return visits – was at the House from her home in Indiana. Through their eleven-year journey, the Ronald McDonald House has become their “vacation” home. As avid lovers of basketball and football, they now count themselves diehard Badger and Packer fans. This spunky tween typically communicates with a device attached to her wheelchair. They too had a long day at the hospital and the players learned from her mom how to communicate without words or devices. These athletes not only captured her heart, but she in turn also captured theirs.

On this magical night, it was hard to tell who was giving back to whom. Now isn’t that something to celebrate!