Monday marked the beginning of the 4th Annual 55 Days at Cafe challenge, a marathon event where seniors (or anyone 21+) will attempt to go to Cafe 210 West every day until May 7. Participants are required to buy something every day and sign in with the bouncer at the door. This year 408 people signed up, a number that is sure to decrease as the days go on.
55 days of good food, good friends, and good service? Challenge accepted! As an of-age senior I am excited, nay honored, to attack what those before me have deemed one of their favorite times at Penn State. To those who scoff and say this is just another way Penn State students promote pointless drinking, I point out the to-die-for daily food specials, like $3.50 Clem’s sandwich baskets and the half priced wings. My theory: you have to eat every day anyway–why not do it at Cafe? Supporting a local business and getting last-minute bonding time with your fellow classmates is a #WINNING combination if you ask me.
Those warriors who make it the entire length of the challenge will be rewarded by having their names engraved on a plaque that will hang inside Cafe. Last year’s plaques were put up by Arts Fest weekend, so that’s something to look forward to. Additionally, on the last day Cafe hosts a party for the finishers in celebration. The details of this are still being worked out so stay posted.
Melissa Brown, this year’s event administrator, says the first 55 day quest was started by Nan Daly in 2008 after she heard about a similar challenge at Georgetown University, called 99 Days Club. Daly decided to go with 55 days in honor of the year Penn State was founded (1855), and in 2009 her brother was able to carry on the tradition. Each year the administrative duties are passed down to a worthy senior who is then responsible for organization and promotion.
If you’re worried that participating in the challenge will cost you hundreds of dollars, don’t be. “There are easy ways to not spend tons and tons of money such as going before cover starts and taking advantage of the specials which are always posted online or on Twitter,” Brown points out. You can also stop by on your way to class and grab a soda or lemonade to go.
Finally, if there is a weekend where you are going out of town and won’t be able to check in at Cafe, all you have to do is bring a receipt from a bar or restaurant from each day you are absent. The receipt has to come from somewhere outside of Centre County, and it can not be from grocery store, gas station, or liquor store. If you’re daring enough, you can also make up for an absence by doing a daylong at Cafe where you have to arrive by 11am and stay til midnight (make sure to tell your server you’re doing this so they can properly mark you down).
Any other questions can be directed towards Melissa Brown via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I wish those participating the best of luck and I hope to meet some new people over the course of the next 52 days! Just think, soon (a.k.a Friday) it will be warm and sunny out, and when that happens the only place to be is on the patio of Cafe.