University Of Alabama ATO Donates $20,000 To Cancer Research In Support Of A Brother

It’s feel-good Friday, everyone, and it’s a doozey. Nothing warms my heart like a group of people coming together in support of a loved one — in this case, a fraternity supporting one of its members.

In 2006, Paul Salmon, a legacy to and brother of Alpha Tau Omega was diagnosed with leukemia. At the time, he was a senior, an involved brother, and the treasurer of his University of Alabama in Huntsville chapter. His disease quickly progressed, and a year later, it killed him at 24 years old.

To support Paul, ATO at UAH has, in recent years, dedicated their philanthropy event, Battle of the Buffalo, to cancer research. Seventeen restaurants now participate in the food and music festival which centers around buffalo chicken wings with wing-eating competitions, and best wing contests. ATO has been able to donate a total of $80,000 to the Russell Hill Cancer Foundation, part of the Clearview Cancer Institute, since 2007 and $20,000 this year alone. This makes up 40% of all Greek philanthropic donations at their school.

As he graduated in 2006, very few, if any of ATO’s current actives would have known Paul Salmon, yet they remain dedicated to the cause in support of their brother. Paul’s mother, Nancy Salmon weighed in:

“I don’t know how to put into words,” Nancy Salmon said. “His name lives on through what [Alpha Tau Omega] does. The terrible thing that we had to go through could potentially be easier for others because of this research.”

Little did she know, that it would potentially be easier for her family the second time around. In 2010, Nancy was diagnosed with cancer, and was treated by the Clearview Cancer Institute, where her son’s fraternity donates money, yearly.

That gives me chills — the good kind.


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Veronica Ruckh

Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at

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