Alpha Tau Omega fraternity members at Troy University are spending their spring break a little differently than most college students.
Instead of spending their time off relaxing on the beach, they will be walking 128 miles from their campus in Alabama to Panama City, Florida, for their annual “Walk Hard” event.
Since 2010, the members of Alpha Tau Omega at Troy University have spent their spring break walking to raising money for veterans.
This year, the brothers are walking to support Jeep Sullivan’s Wounded Warriors Outdoor Adventures, a nonprofit organization that offers opportunities for hunting, fishing and fellowship to veterans, combat-wounded military personnel and their families. Their goal is to facilitate the healing of spirit, soul and body through outdoor activities at no cost to heroes.
The fraternity will begin their walk this year on March 9 and it will conclude on March 14.
Sullivan accompanies the brothers on their practice walks and brings some of the veterans that the charity serves. The veterans speak to the fraternity each night after their daily walk is complete.
“These speeches are raw and hard to hear, but at the same time, they provide our walkers with insight and motivation to what we are doing,” Sam Moody, the director of the event, said. “Jeep’s wife, whom we affectionately call Mama Meg, works with the wives and children of these veterans to help build a community for them, as well. This organization literally saves lives. Both a physical and spiritual level, and we are honored to do what we do for our servicemen and women.”
Along with monetary donations, the walkers have received support in other ways for other organizations who support their goal, including CORKCICLE and the Alabama Hiking Trail Society.
CORKCICLE donated water canteens to the cause to make sure walkers are properly hydrated during their walk. The Alabama Hiking Trail Society spoke to the members of the fraternity about proper foot care and packing for their journey.
Along with donations, the group has also been using raffles as a way to meet their fundraising goal. They have been raffling off tickets for chances to win products from Yeti, The North Face, Patagonia, Lilly Pulitzer, Men’s Warehouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hydroflask and more.
The fraternity’s goal is to raise $25,000 for the organization. To date, they have raised nearly $12,000 on their CrowdChange page and are almost halfway to their goal.