Panama City Beach, Fla - Spring breakers are known to flock to the beaches for selfies and sun. A special group of college fraternity brothers are spending their break in a different way. In fact, they are demonstrating selfless behavior.
Troy University's Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, also known as ATO, spent their spring break making a difference by raising money rather than spending it.
"There is nothing wrong with having a fun spring break and our guys will get to go and have the rest of their spring break after this but just to be able to sacrifice your time and your body for this cause... It's kind of a common theme now of our generation to riot and protest and if you don't like something you complain about it and we don't have an appreciation for our elders," explained Sam Moody, Assistant Director.
Walk Hard 2017 kicked off the fraternity's annual philanthropy that supports wounded warriors through a Northwest Florida Charity. This year the brothers of ATO fraternity set out to raise the bar and walked nearly 130 miles from Troy, Alabama to Panama City Beach, to raise $40,000.
"Has been incredible. I mean, I know that is kind of a cliche thing to say but we set out with an incredibly lofty goal and we met it," said Moody.
This year the ATO brothers set their goal high and were able to present a check for $43,000 to Jeep Sullivan's Wounded Warrior Outdoor Adventures.
"As a warrior looks at this or as a soldier looks at this, the veteran that watches what's going on through Troy University and ATO Fraternity. It's almost like it gives them a new hope of America's young people again. These college young men right here didn't have to do this for their spring break," explained Jeep Sullivan, Wounded Warrior Outdoor Adventures, Inc.
Beginning at Troy in 2009, Walk Hard has become a national model for the fraternity with similar Walk Hard events at other campuses.
"The reason we do what we do, the reason we don't just write a check. The reason we walk down to the beach and get these blisters and get this pain is to try to come close to understand what our veterans are dealing with daily," said Moody.
The organization's goal is to continue to facilitate the healing of the spirit, the soul and the body through outdoor activities at no cost to these heroes. For more information on how to donate or get involved, visit www.gofundme.com/walkhard-2017 or JeepSullivan.com.
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