TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — Friday morning, Troy University’s Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) took fundraising to the next level during a 128.3 mile walk from Troy to Panama City Beach, Florida in honor of wounded warriors.
ATO’s Walk Hard fundraiser benefits Jeep Sullivan’s Wounded Warrior Outdoor Adventures, Inc.
“Jeep takes wounded veterans on hunting and fishing trips throughout the southeast and throughout the country and ministers to them and helps them just kind of get through any dark spots that they may be in,” said Troy recruiter and ATO alumni Gus McKenzie.
McKenzie told TrojanVision about the preparations walkers had to take to be ready for the physical and mental pain of this fundraiser.
“A couple of practice walks that are about 12 to 15 miles,” McKenzie said. “To be honest, there’s nothing you can prepare to do.”
Parents of some of the walkers expressed their pride for their children.
“It’s physical pain and mental pain but they’re willing to go through that process and endure it just so they can help help others,” said ATO parent Steve Bryce.
“Just to give up his Spring Break and his ATO brothers and and to do this walk to raise money and awareness to Wounded Warriors,” said parent Rebbecca Butts. “Just about as proud as a parent could be.”
Members of Campus administration were also on hand to express their appreciation for the cause.
“My dad was an Army veteran so it’s really near and dear to my heart,” said Admissions Counselor Jade Blocker. “He passed away back in 2008. I think that it’s amazing that they are raising money but I also think that it’s amazing that they’re deciding to walk on their Spring Break instead of going to the beach to raise this money.”
After 13 years the fraternity hopes Walk Hard continues to gain more participation and sponsors the first walk was in 2011. Walkers expect to reach Panama City Beach on Wednesday, March 15.