Trine's free Hoopla Community Day

ANGOLA, Ind. – Silence the kids' cries that there's nothing to do by bouncing  over to Trine University for Hoopla Community Day – an afternoon of free fun and food on Saturday, Feb. 16, and a great way to get in the spirit for March Madness.

Trine's offering free admission to the men's and women's varsity basketball games that day in Hershey Hall so everyone can join the fun with the "Hershey Hooligans," the school's unofficial sports fan club.

"Come on out and help us fill our stands with fans cheering on the Thunder," said Matt Land, Trine athletic director. "People of all ages can be a part of the fun and excitement that comes with Trine athletics – you can't go wrong."

Coaches can give their squads a look at college action and are encouraged to bring their basketball, cheer and dance teams. Service clubs, grandparents entertaining grandchildren; any group is welcome to come and join the fun. It's a unique opportunity to see two college basketball games without the cost of admission and a long drive.

The day begins at noon when the first 200 adult fans will receive a free T-shirt and spirit towel, and the first 100 children will get a free T-shirt.  Every 50th fan will get a gift card to the Depot Grill; a total of 20 cards will be given.

Fans can try on their shirts and settle in for the 1 p.m. tipoff when the men's Thunder basketball team will be battling it out with the Hope College Flying Dutchmen to secure a playoff berth. The Thunder and Dutchmen are two of the top teams in the conference so the action is sure to keep fans on the edge of their seats.

Between games, fans can stretch their legs and dash down the bleachers to get to the Hershey Hooligan Hotdog Giveaway. Bon Appetit Management Co., the food service company at Trine, will give away 200 hotdogs. Those with gift cards to the Depot Grill can thank Bon Appetit for those, too.

After enjoying a hotdog, or snack from the concession stand, fans can burn the calories as they cheer on the Trine women when they face Kalamazoo College at 3 p.m.  This game is sure to be a great match, too, and fans won't want to miss a minute of action. A win over the Hornets will secure Trine a spot in the playoffs.

Don't even think about leaving at halftime because the Storm half-court competition – with a cash prize of $300 – follows the women's game. Anyone who wants to try is welcome to stand on the hardwood and take a shot; the competition continues until there's a winner. The odds of having fun are in the fans' favor.