When Nick Anderson, junior from Murray, and member of Alpha Tau Omega, found out that his girlfriend, Olivia Reed, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and a brain tumor, his whole world turned upside down.
ATO brothers Chad Denson, junior from Okochobee, Fla., and Ethan Shaw, sophomore from Hopkinsville, Ky., immediately jumped on the opportunity to help, and the rest of the fraternity followed suit to show their support for Anderson and Reed.
“In the meeting, he mentioned (Olivia) and I said, ‘Well let’s do an event,’” Denson said. “Everyone said, ‘Dude you can’t push an event in two weeks,’ but I said, ‘I’ll make it happen.’”
Denson said he wasted no time planning the fundraiser. He and his brothers wanted to do everything they could to show their support.
They presented their idea to Lambda Chi Alpha so they could partner for on the events and reach a larger audience.
After everyone was on board, they began to plan the events.
“She (Reed) means a lot to the fraternity,” Denson said. “Nick and Olivia have been together for eight months, and in those eight months, she’s always been here, and she’s always been supportive of us.”
The first event was a rebate night Sept. 18 at Mr. J’s Grill and Pub.
The next event was Thursday where Reed gave a speech about her condition and appreciation for the donations. Representatives from the American Cancer Society also spoke.
The brothers provided a banner for people who lost family members to cancer to write those names in remembrance.
After weeks of planning, Denson said he wanted to do something fun to celebrate all of the support and donations that were inspired by one woman.
The next event is from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. tonight at the ATO house. Admission is free and open to everyone.
“I instantly cried when I called Nick and he told me what the guys were doing for me,” Reed said. “No one has ever done anything close to this event for me.”
The original intent was to raise money to help Reed pay her medical bills, but her insurance covers everything, Denson said.
Since Reed and her family were not in need of financial support, the brothers decided to give 100 percent of the money raised to the American Cancer Society.
“We want to support her anyway. We’re not asking for much, just support,” Denson said.
ATO will sell T-shirts at the event and accept any donations.
Denson said since the events were planned in only three weeks, they want to give people enough time to be able to donate.
Ultimately, the goals of the events are to support Reed, raise money for cancer research and give all Greeks the opportunity to come together for a cause, Anderson said.
“(It’s about) raising awareness for something good, something positive,” Anderson said.
Story by Madison Wepfer, Staff writer