Brothers for life, and even in death.
Phi Delta Theta fraternity will host its first annual BBQ benefit for the ALS Association Saturday as a part of homecoming festivities. Being held in the Humanities Plaza prior to kick-off of the homecoming game against Auburn, the benefit recognizes the life of Lou Gehrig, famed baseball player and late member.
Gehrig suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, now colloquially known as Lou Gehrig's disease, that is described on the ALS Association is a "progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord."
Chucky Blalock, senior in business analytics and member of Phi Delta Theta, said the benefit means more to his fraternity than service.
"Lou Gehrig is a brother in the bond of Phi Delta Theta, and one of our foundations is, "Be your brother's keeper,'" Blalock said. "This is why we have selected the ALS Association as our national philanthropy."
"We were looking for an opportunity to have an event on campus, and we thought there was no better time to do this than homecoming."
The members of Phi Delta Theta plan to use the tailgate to raise money and awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease while entertaining attendees.
"I am really excited to help spread the word about ALS, and the effect it has on people with the disease," Frank Unger, president of Phi Delta Theta and senior in political science, said. "We are hoping to make this a yearly event as we continue to raise awareness in the area."
Blalock said that the benefit also fulfills a key initiative for Greek organizations.
"Philanthropy is one of the most important aspects of any fraternity," he said. "The reason we have worked so hard on putting this together is because we made a pledge to 'transmit the fraternity to those who may follow after, not only not less, but greater than it was transmitted to [us],' and philanthropy is one of the essential ways to strengthen brotherhood and the fraternity."
Tickets for the benefit tailgate can be purchased for $8 from a member of Phi Delta Theta or online at www.phi-delta-theta.ticketleap.com/benefit-bbq/. Tickets will be $10 at the door and the tailgate begins at 8 a.m.
The event is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Corporation and food will be provided by Calhoun's.