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JANUARY ONLINE SPECIAL FEATURE EDITION
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Pitt Program Council sponsors trip to Tangerine Bowl
Ramesh C. Reddy
As the Pittsburgh Panthers (5-5) beat UAB Blazers (6-4) on Dec 01,01 they improved to 6-5 and were given the opportunity to participate in the Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl against the North Carolina State Wolfpack (7-4).
As soon as the Pitt Program Council (PPC) found out that the Panthers would be going to Orlando, Fl for the Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl, the PPC students and staff worked together to put a package for the Panther fans to go to Orlando, Fl.
Photo By: Ramesh C. Reddy
PPC officers from left to right: Lisa Nguyen, Michelle Wydra, Ryan McMichael, Jessica Pierce, and Amy Fetters.
The package offered rooming options of double ($170), triple ($158), or quad ($152) occupancy in the Ramada Inn Resort at International Drive. The package also offered roundtrip motor coach transportation with free movies, two nights stay at the Resort with access to a free swimming pool, one ticket to the game, free transportation to and from the game, one all you can eat breakfast buffet, discount on Universal Studio tickets, and free shuttles to different places.
Panther fans took advantage of this deal as 164 fans boarded three motor coach transportation buses near the William Pitt Union on Dec 18, 01 to go to Orlando, Fl for the Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl.
Everyone was on board by 12:16 p.m. when the three buses departed on a road trip to the sunny state of Orlando, Fl. Before the buses departed, the fans were told about what activities constituted to be illegal on the buses and would be cause to remove them at any point during the trip if they were found to be engaging in those activities such as smoking, fighting but not limited to them.
Each bus had PPC escorts accompanying the fans to make sure everything goes smoothly on the trip. Michelle Wydra, the Executive Board Director of the PPC and Lisa Ngyuen, a PPC member looked after the fans on Bus 3 while other PPC members looked after the students in the other two buses.
At 1:00 p.m, the fans watched a drama movie ‘Remember the Titans’, a true story about how a black coach led an integrated white-black team to a championship.
Around 2:49 p.m, the bus made the first rest stop in West Virginia. At 3:11 p.m, Wydra passed out yellow and blue sheets detailing activities available in Orlando, Fl including checking in-out procedures at the hotel.
"We are not sponsoring these but offering them as an option to you. They are sponsored by Inter-campus programs", said Wydra
After passing the information to the fans, Wydra put on a drama movie ‘Coyote Ugly’, a movie about how a young girl wants to make it big in the music industry.
At 4:12 p.m, the buses stopped unexpectedly and left 4 minutes later. Wydra asked the driver why they stopped and was told that another bus was having a problem. As the bus departed, fans finished watching Coyote Ugly by 4:48 p.m.
Now all of them stopped for dinner at 5:00 p.m. Fans took the option of eating dinner either at TCBY Yogurt, Burger King, or Sharro, the Italian Eatery.
"Get your food and get back on so we can get moving so other buses can move", said Wydra.
As the places were packed with people, the buses did not leave until 6:16 p.m. At 6:16 p.m. they watched a comedy movie, "Road Trip", about a student trying to get back a wrong videotape sent to his girlfriend. The movie ended at 7:43 p.m.
After a 10-minute break, they watched another comedy movie, "Billy Madison", about a person who has to retake grades 1-12 if he wants to inherit his father’s business.
The movie ended at 9:18 p.m and a rest stop was made in South Carolina. At 10:02 p.m, the buses departed South Carolina and the final movie was watched at 10:06 p.m.
They watched an action movie, Mission Impossible II, about a person trying to retrieve a virus and antidote back.
At 11:38 p.m, a rest stop was made at Travel Center, South Carolina where new drivers boarded at 12:16 a.m. Another rest stop was made in Georgia at 3:18 a.m. and departed for Orlando, Fl at 3:40 a.m.
The buses stopped for breakfast at 7:21 a.m. in Orlando, Fl and left at 8:30 a.m. arriving at the Ramada Inn Resort on International Drive at 8:52 a.m. The PPC members helped fans get settled in the hotel and get ready for any fun activities they wanted to participate in.