For the past eight years, people have been flocking to the Tundra every Saturday evening during Homecoming for one reason: Sigma Phi Epsilon’s annual Balloon Glow. Every year, ONU’s oldest fraternity brings hot air balloons to the tundra, blows them up, and lets them glow at dusk. The event has come to be known as one of the biggest events of Homecoming, and even attracts residents of the Ada community. 

All proceeds from the event go toward the fraternity’s philanthropy, and for the second year in a row, their charity of choice has been Big Brother, Big Sister. 

For the past couple of years, due to nasty weather conditions, the balloons have not been able to go up in the air. This year, considering the worst-case scenario of nasty weather, Sig Ep decided to make some additions and do things differently. 

Sig Ep’s philanthropy chair, Andrew Colyer, talked a little about what was new this year.

“This year we’re going to have live music by a local band from Lima called SAMAX. They’ll be doing covers of various songs and other people will be welcome to perform as well.” He also mentions how the money is being raised, adding, “We’re selling t-shirts, we received donations from a number of different organizations, both cash and gift baskets for our raffle. We’re hoping to reach our goal of $1000, for Big Brother, Big Sister.”

Even though the balloons could not go up this year due to the weather, and they were forced to move the event inside Kinghorn’s field house, the brothers did meet their goal of $1,000 and found a great alternative for the balloons. 

The balloon pilot blew one of the balloons up inside of the field house and people were able to walk inside and take pictures inside of the balloon. SAMAX even caught peoples’ attention, and with the help of Klondike, got people dancing. 

Despite the weather, the event turned out well. 

“I had a good time,” said Danielle, a visitor to ONU. “Not only did it show how close the fraternity is, but let the community be involved and give back to a good cause. And the hot chocolate was delicious.” 

Balloon Glow wouldn’t have been the same without everyone running to the doors to get outside and see the fireworks, a great way to end a fun event and a fun Homecoming weekend.

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