UAH donates $20,000 to cancer research in memory of fallen brother

Jul 23, 2013

THETA PI (Alabama-Huntsville)—A University of Alabama in Huntsville fraternity donated $20,000 to the Russel Hill Cancer Foundation Friday to support cancer research following the death of a fraternity brother.

Alpha Tau Omega member Paul Salmon died in March 2007 from leukemia. Since then, the Theta Pi chapter at UAH has dedicated their Battle of the Buffalo fundraiser to cancer research.

“They are amazing. You’ve never met college kids like these,” said Donna Johnson, executive director of the Russel Hill Cancer Foundation. “They care about their community, and it comes across in everything that they do.”

Out of all the UAH Greek philanthropy money raised this year, Alpha Tau Omega’s philanthropy contributed about 40 percent, said David Oberle, director of the ATO fundraiser.

The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity has donated $80,000 to the Russel Hill Cancer Foundation since 2007, Oberle said.

The foundation is part of the Clearview Cancer Institute. The money will be used to buy a microscope with remote-access viewing capabilities for the Decatur Clearview branch, Clearview lab manager Susan Eva said.

The microscope can take pictures of blood cells that are sent directly to a doctor. This speeds the diagnosis process, allows doctors to keep a permanent record of the sample for later comparison and helps teach students at other locations, Eva said.

Paul Salmon was a senior at UAH and treasurer of Alpha Tau Omega when he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, said Nancy Salmon, his mother. Paul Salmon died one year later at the age of 24, Nancy Salmon said.

“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.”

Paul Salmon was a legacy brother of Alpha Tau Omega. In 2010, Nancy Salmon was diagnosed with cancer and received treatment at the Clearview Cancer Institute, she said.

The fundraiser is a food and music festival that centers around buffalo-style chicken wings. It includes a wing-eating competition, best wing contest, musical entertainment and arts and crafts vendors.

Since 2007 the fundraising event has grown from five restaurants participating to 17 participating this year, a record number for the fraternity philanthropy, director Oberle said.

Restaurants that participated were Beauregard’s, 3rd Base Grill, Below the Radar Brewhouse, The Brickhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Cricket’s, Famous Joe’s Pizzeria, Hooters, Jefferson’s Restaurant, Lee Ann’s, Mellow Mushroom, Moe’s Original BarBQue, New Market Bar-B-Q, New Orleans Lunchbox, Shane’s Rib Shack, Sud’s Bar & Grill and Tim’s Cajun Kitchen participated.

Alpha Tau Omega has been an established fraternity at UAH since 1979.

*Original press release provided by


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