University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


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UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association
to Bring Back Spirit of the “Cam”

 MAILED:  Sept. 23, 2003

EAU CLAIRE — “While you were in college, where’s the one place you could go to feast on cheese curds, listen to great jukebox tunes, read historic magazine articles hung on the walls, and eat endless baskets of popcorn in a crowded corner booth?”

Ask that question of any University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire alumnus who graduated between 1971 and 2001, and you’ll almost certainly hear, without hesitation, “The Camaraderie!”

The Eau Claire establishment at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Water Street was destroyed by fire on Jan. 7, 2001, but the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association will bring back the spirit of the “Cam” Oct. 4 during Homecoming 2003, said John Bachmeier, UW-Eau Claire director of alumni relations.

Former Camaraderie owners Joe Giammona and Meriland “Pearly” Johnson, a 1962 UW-Eau Claire graduate, will ride in the 10 a.m. Homecoming parade. Later, a number of alumni who were Camaraderie bartenders, cooks and waitresses will be back to “work” during The Camaraderie Revisited, a 4 p.m. gathering in the UW-Eau Claire Davies Center’s Council Fire Room.

“It’s a unique idea to recognize the Camaraderie at Homecoming, a time of reunions and reminiscing,” said Amy Dominski, Eau Claire, a former Camaraderie employee who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Eau Claire in 1987 and 1992, respectively. “For the great majority of us, the reminiscing just wouldn’t be complete without mention of times spent with good friends getting together at the ‘Cam.’”

Dominski, who worked as a Camaraderie bartender in 1986 and 1987, recalled the establishment’s warm and friendly atmosphere and the opportunities there for student employees to “mix with the locals.”

“I met lots of interesting people while tending bar at the ‘Cam’ and am looking forward to maybe seeing a few of those faces at Homecoming 2003,” Dominski said.

Johnson and Giammona have provided items from the Camaraderie’s eclectic décor that survived the fire — including the large wooden sign that hung over the front door — for display at the gathering. Cheese curds prepared from the original Camaraderie recipe will be among the foods and beverages for sale, and complimentary popcorn and peanuts in the shell also will be served, Bachmeier said.

“The Camaraderie holds a special place in the hearts of many UW-Eau Claire alumni,” Bachmeier said. “It’s a common bond shared by alumni from several decades, and this event will bring back great memories for many of our graduates.”

The Camaraderie Revisited will follow the 11 a.m. Blugold Fever Fest pregame festival and the 1 p.m. UW-Eau Claire Blugolds football game against Bethel College, both in Carson Park.


UW-Eau Claire Home

Excellence. Our measure, our motto, our goal.

 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: September 23, 2003