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ATOs undertake Hard Walk to raise funds

Written by Gabrielle Pack, intern with The Messenger

Twelve brothers of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity will hike 140 miles in six days to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics, in both Alabama and Florida, and The Alabama Special Camp for Children and Adults.

Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity will hike for the Walk Hard event that will begin March 8 from Troy and end March 13 at Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Fla. The team will hike about 25 miles per day.

The Walk Hard idea originated from Kyle Crabtree and Austin Bivins in 2010. A man in a Superman uniform, who was walking down the highway carrying an American flag, inspired the two to come up with a way to be challenging and unique.

They planned a hike from Troy to Panama City Beach and started their recruiting process. When a mutual friend could not make the hike due to Type 1 diabetes, they would then decide to use the hike to raise awareness and funds for the diabetic community, specifically to benefit Camp ASCCA.

“There will be rally locations along the way, with politicians to meet them and cheer them on,” said Brandon Stoudenmier, sponsorship coordinator for Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

“We will also have runners to meet the team if they are getting low on necessities,” Stoudenmier said. He said the team members would carry the basic necessities, such as food and water on their backs.

Seven Gold, Silver, and Bronze sponsors will help with the fundraiser. Troy University and several small businesses in Montgomery are among these sponsors.

Forty-five percent of the proceeds will go to the Special Olympics in Alabama and the other 45 percent will go the Special Olympics in Florida. The rest of the 10 percent will go to Camp ASCCA, a summer camp for children with diabetes.

“This event is tax deductible and we appreciate all the support we can get,” Stoudenmier said.