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The Backstretch 50-Day Club holds strong for over two decades

The Backstretch is a restaurant and bar located in the city of downtown Delaware. This year is its 21st anniversary of their countdown to commencement for Ohio Wesleyan Seniors called 50 Day Club.


For the 50 days leading up to graduation, the seniors who choose to participate must go to The Backstretch for 30 minutes and make a food or drink purchase while there. Water is an acceptable drink for students to purchase and the employees and owners welcome students to choose this option. 


The tradition of the 50 Day Club started when two employees at The Backstretch, who were also Ohio Wesleyan seniors, decided that they wanted to come to The Backstretch every day until they graduated.


At this time things were not well thought out or structured. However, the owner of The Backstretch, Joanne Meyers, decided to take the idea and give it some more refinement. Now there are game nights, various activities, challenges, and occasional free food offered to the students who choose to participate.


The students who complete the 50 days are also given a cord to wear for graduation as well as various prizes and freebies throughout the 50 days.


Some people might think that this countdown event promotes bad habits with alcohol for students. However, many students participating in the event choose to drink water, pop, or just grab food as an after-school snack. 


OWU Senior Annabel Benes shares, “ I have enjoyed going to The Backstretch to decompress after classes and enjoy an appetizer or a cold soda and spend time chatting with my friends.”


The 50 Day Club allows the seniors participating to spend time each day with friends that they might no longer be living close to post-graduation. Seniors also get the opportunity to connect with others in their class who they might not have previously been close to. The Backstretch employees share that the countdown is all about community and bonding. 


The 50 Day Club starts every spring semester, usually two weeks after spring break. Any student 21 and over can participate and it is free for students to sign up. A link is sent out from the university class email account for students to complete a Google form for registration. Students are also able to drop out of the program at any point without repercussion, however, participants will no longer receive the cord and t-shirt for completing the program.


Getting a group of friends to sign up can also be a way to stay accountable for going each day. The more a student participates in the activities the more they get out of the experience. An event does not stay around for over two decades without success. 


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