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Friday, December 03, 2021
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Pink flamingos’ flock back to Madison with return of ‘Fill the Hill’ event

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s long standing “Fill The Hill” event returned to Bascom Hill Thursday after a year online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Fill the Hill” began as a small and harmless prank when a student organization known as the “Pail and Shovel” student political party placed over a thousand pink plastic-figured flamingos all over Bascom Hill in 1979, said Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WAA) Director of Media and Public Relations Tod Pritchard in media release Monday. 

The Pail and Shovel party returned to power this academic year with Pranav Srivastava and Barnabas Shiferaw reigniting the party and serving as the president and vice president, respectively, of the 2021-22 senior class. 

Last year, the virtual event entailed the placement of virtual pink flamingos for every donation to the university on a virtual version of Bascom Hill’s front lawn. 

Ever since the conception of this unique yet odd prank, pink flamingos have been a symbolic part of the Madison community.

This year, the “Fill the Hill” event highlights the plethora of individuals, groups and organizations around the world that support UW-Madison financially, fundraising money for a variety of schools and colleges at UW-Madison, including the Wisconsin School of Business, the College of Engineering and the Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. 

Additionally, some causes supported by the fundraising efforts include the preservation of the Lakeshore Preserve as well as support for mental health support on-campus, among others. . 

With every gift given to UW-Madison during the event, a plastic pink flamingo will be placed on Bascom Hill — signifying the importance of every individual that supports the university and its endeavors.

For every gift made over $250, individuals will receive their own collectible pink plastic flamingo from the WAA.

The WAA is providing some donors with a special-edition red flamingo in celebration of the university’s “All Ways Forward” campaign. This campaign provides aid for student support, faculty excellence and educational experience at the university. 

With the event concluding on Friday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m., the university encourages the campus community to support UW-Madison and visit the thousands of pink plastic flamingos scattered across Bascom Hill. 

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