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Free Football And Food At Employee Kickoff
Durham, NC - While Colleen Helms has been going to Duke football games for nearly 30 years, there's been some extra pre-game excitement since head coach David Cutcliffe has come around - the Employee Kickoff Celebration.
She plans to be in the stands for this year's fifth annual Duke Employee Kickoff Celebration that is part of "Duke Appreciation" and brings together faculty and staff for the start of the Duke football season. Helms enjoys bringing family and friends to the kickoff event because it's a rare opportunity for the entire Duke community to rally together.
"We don't often get a lot of time at work to see coworkers because we're busy all day," said Helms, a nuclear medicine technologist in the Duke Cancer Institute. "It's nice to see other people, talk to them and enjoy good food and music."
Beginning Aug. 1, faculty and staff can request up to four free tickets for the home opener against Florida International University, which starts at 7 p.m. Sept. 1. Last year, nearly 10,000 employees and their friends and family joined a crowd of 32,741 at Wallace Wade Stadium. Tickets can be reserved online or by calling (919) 681-8738. A DukeCard is required to pick up tickets on game day.
Pre-game festivities - including music, inflatable games, face painting and a buffet - will start at 4 p.m. Sept. 1 at Krzyzewskiville outside Card Gymnasium. At 4:45, all fans are encouraged to cheer on the Blue Devils as the team walks through "Blue Devil Alley" on its way into Wallace Wade Stadium. The Fan Zone will close at 6:30 p.m. just prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff. The event, sponsored by Duke Athletics and Human Resources, also includes fireworks during halftime of the game.
"The kickoff celebration is a special event and unique opportunity to show our Duke spirit and support the team in an exciting environment," said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration. "It's a symbolic way of bringing the entire Duke community together."
See the video below for a special message from football head coach David Cutcliffe: