Alpha Tao Omega’s Gatorbash Success

Emily Chudzik, News Editor

Alpha Tao Omega fraternity held their first charity event of the semester, Gatorbash, on Saturday, October 4.

Despite the cold weather, there was still a great turnout. It was held on the quad, and admission was two dollars. All proceeds from the day went directly to the American Cancer Society, ATO’s philanthropy.

There were a number of different activities to participate in, like a dunk tank, a kissing booth, corn hole, ladder golf, and a balloon pop with candy prizes. Millikin students provided live entertainment, and there was food as well, including ATO’s award-winning chili.

Throughout the previous week, ATO set up open donations online for their event, and they had already reached $920 before the Gatorbash event even started.

“My favorite part about our philanthropy is how it gets all of the guys involved. There is also a lot of alumni support. I’ve received a lot of emails thanking us for supporting such a great cause,” Austin Brettschneider, senior marketing major and President of ATO, said.

As the President of the fraternity, he was selected to go into the dunk tank for about thirty minutes, which also helped raise some money. While it was “incredibly cold,” Brettschneider knew he could tough it out for such a “great cause.”

“It feels good to be able to come together for a good cause and put our differences aside. It’s a really rewarding feeling to be able to give back,” Ryan Bodine, senior music business major and member of ATO, said.

Gatorbash is new for ATO this year, and they hope to continue it in the future.

“I created the event with our philanthropy committee. We needed to create a staple ATO event. It took about six months to plan this. We started off with a lot of different ideas, but we eventually settled on this,” Zach Cronister, junior health fitness and recreation major and Philanthropy Chair for ATO, said.

“We chose the name because our mascot is a gator. We haven’t had an event with a gator in a long time, so this was the perfect chance to get it going,” Dom Hart, senior health fitness and recreation major and member of ATO, said.

ATO takes pride in the closeness of their brotherhood and their ability to come together to raise money for such a worthy cause.

“My favorite part of ATO is definitely the brotherhood and the support system that I got once I joined,” Nate Trout, junior business management and international business major and new member of ATO, said.

Cronister said, “My favorite part is the brotherhood and how close we are, even though we have no house. Despite that fact, we always have a high recruitment rate and we always get a great group of guys.”

Bodine said, “I love that we don’t really have a niche. We’re just a bunch of guys who are best friends. We may have different interests and hobbies, but that lets us learn a lot about each other. We really do work hard.”

Most importantly, ATO is dedicated to helping those in need. Cancer affects so many people in the United States, whether a family member or you yourself are diagnosed. ATO will host more events in the future to help in the fight against cancer. This event was intended to raise money, as well as awareness, for cancer. Gatorbash was certainly a success.