ATO Tries To Raise 1 Million Quarters for Cancer Institute

Fraternity members are collecting their change and asking for the loose quarters of their classmates to help fight cancer.

The first annual Quarter-Mile for Cancer will be held on campus April 15 through 19. This week-long event, sponsored by the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity (ATO) at the U, will raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

The objective of the quarter mile event, according to Jaryd Bern, public relations officer for ATO, is to collect enough quarters to stretch a mile.

“There are approximately 63,361 quarters in a mile. That equates to roughly $15,840,” Bern said. “All donations will be accepted.”

Checks made to the cancer institute can be placed in the donation jars that can be found throughout the Union building during the entire week.

Fraternity members will also be collecting donations around the U campus and Salt Lake Valley.

ATO members conceived the idea for a quarter-mile fund raiser, then approached the cancer institute about it, said Bern.

According to Ray Olsen, director of development for the cancer institute, the institute’s policy is to ask any group with a proposed fund raising event that uses the cancer institute’s name to run the event past someone at the cancer institute so “we can sign off on it and to be sure the events adheres to our standards.”

Olsen said that the U fraternities and sororities are “just great,” and that they’ve previously raised a lot of money for the cancer institute and other good causes.

“Everyone on campus will be affected by cancer at some point in their life, be it a family member, friend or themselves,” said Daniel Walter, ATO vice president. “By helping the Huntsman Cancer Institute, we can help its mission to educate and find a cure for this life-altering disease.”

All donated funds will be given to the cancer institute to be used wherever it feels necessary, said Bern.

Founded in 1865 at the Virginia Military Institute, ATO was created to help unite the North and the South after the Civil War. In its 135 years, the fraternity has discerned the signs of the times, and used those perceptions to build and prepare leaders for the future.

In 1953, while ATO was trying to get on its feet at the U, the Korean War began, and many members left school to defend their country. That left ATO by the wayside.

After the war ended, there were few returning members who were interested in getting ATO going again and so it remained unorganized for 50 years.

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