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Sibling's Weekend to host nearly 2,000 family members

Family members are welcome to reconnect at Central Michigan University this weekend.

Sibling’s Weekend takes place from Friday, Jan. 27 to Sunday, Jan. 29. The annual event attracts nearly 2,000 siblings and younger family members to CMU to take part in a weekend filled with activities.

“Sibling’s Weekend is aimed to reconnect CMU students with their sibling, cousin, or friend who they may have lost communication with while being away at college,” said Benjamin Sobczak, administrative co-chair of Sibling’s Weekend.

The movies “Moana,” “Zootopia” and “Jurassic World” will also be shown throughout the weekend. A comedy drumming event titled rePercussion will take place at noonSaturday at Plachta Auditorium. The Danger Circus will close the weekend at noon Sunday at Plachta.

Activities such as bowling, rock climbing and a trampoline park are offered on Friday and Saturday. A pancake breakfast is scheduled from 8-11 a.m. Saturday in Finch Fieldhouse. There will be a carnival from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Student Activity Center with sports clinics happening throughout the evening.

For more information on events and the schedule for the weekend, visit the event’s website.

Participants can register from 4 to 7 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. on Friday at Finch Fieldhouse. The cost of attendance is free for CMU students attending with guests, $10 for students with no sibling, $35 each for a sibling or participant, but $20 after the first two participants, and $20 for parents.

One T-shirt per participant is included in the registration fee, but additional T-shirts will be available for $5. There are also optional meal plans, with three meal tickets costing $20 and two tickets costing $15.

Sibling’s Weekend is planned with the help of Sibling’s Weekend Planning Committee members and funded by the Office of Student Activities via the Campus Programming Fund.

Damon Brown, director of the Office of Student Activities Involvement, said Sibling’s Weekend has a $30,000 budget.

Organizer Maricella Reyes said this is her first year being in charge of planning the weekend.

“My goal is to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible,” the Midland graduate assistant said. “There is a lot going on so I just want to make sure it is as good of an experience as possible, and keep up the tradition of it being a fun time.”

Reyes said there are different core team members who look to find the best activities for the wide-range of participant ages that attend the event.

This year’s event has 150 volunteers, most of which are CMU students, Reyes said.

Sobczak, a Bad Axe senior, said he participated in the event with his two younger siblings in 2014, and continued his involvement by being the registration coordinator in 2015 and the chairperson for the 2016-17 events.

Sobczak played a role in planning this year’s event by helping the committee make planning decisions.

“Our goal this year was to try and incorporate more activities that would appeal to older siblings and participants,” Sobczak said. “We found ourselves focusing on the younger kids of (Sibling’s Weekend) and recognized from survey feedback that we were missing a demographic of visitors.”

This year the committee tried to incorporate special events, movie showing and entertainment that would satisfy participants of all ages, he said.

“(Sibling’s Weekend) is one of the longest traditions at CMU and we take pride in being fortunate enough to put it on each year,” Sobczak said.

Twining sophomore Markie Heideman, logistics core leader, is in charge of making the internal schedule so every person on the team knows where they need to be throughout the weekend. He said the committee members have been working on planning the weekend over the past four months.

“My goal is to make sure that everyone who shows up for Sibling’s Weekend has an unforgettable time,” Heideman said. “It’s important for siblings to bond with their siblings who are away at college, so if we can make it a fun weekend, that’s what we want to do.”