Soulfest kicks off Homecoming, adds benefit for veterans
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Kicking off the 2012 Homecoming events at the University of Florida is Soulfest from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Reitz Student Union Amphitheater. The free event is open to the public.
Soulfest celebrates the cultural diversity within the UF campus. It is a multicultural extravaganza that includes a student organization tabling fair, free international foods and a talent showcase.
This year, Soulfest has taken on two philanthropies for the first time. Lifesouth has been Soulfest’s main philanthropy for the past five years, but this year the Collegiate Veterans Society will be added.
“We really make sure that we have a philanthropy, because this is not just an event, we want to help someone along the way as well,” said Marshall Rivers, director of Soulfest.
The Collegiate Veterans Society at the University of Florida is dedicated to help fellow collegiate veterans in the transition from military to college life and to enrich the community. There will be a collection box starting today to collect hygiene items to donate to veterans.
The locations of the collection boxes are as follows: Tuesday at Turlington from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday at the Hub from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday at Turlington from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday at the Soulfest event from 5 to 6:45 p.m.
Items that can be donated include bar soap, toothpaste, baby wipes, floss, cotton balls, box of tissues, hand sanitizer, Q-tips, mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, shaving cream, body lotion, body wash, face wash, pack of razors or a personal First Aid kit.
The collection boxes will also be present at all of the Homecoming events. Each person who donates will have his or her name entered into a raffle to win a prize pack that includes one Gator Growl ticket, one alumni BBQ ticket and one Gator Growl T-shirt.
The theme for Soulfest this year is “Journey Through America: One Body, One Mind, one SOUL!” The American theme will be incorporated into Soulfest’s overall appeal, one of the reasons for featuring the CVS as a philanthropy.
Over the years, the University of Florida’s Homecoming has expanded beyond the weekend of the Homecoming football game. It has become a multi-week celebration of higher education, cultural diversity, arts on campus and athletic achievement.
Homecoming invites the entire Gator Nation to Soulfest to celebrate the multicultural diversity within UF and the beginning of Homecoming 2012.
For more information please visit www.gatorgrowl.org.