ALLENDALE, Mich.,– About 20 members of Alpha Tau Omega at Grand Valley State University gave up their spring break this year to raise money to fight a debilitating disease.
The fraternity brothers hiked 160 miles from Allendale to Traverse City to raise awareness and money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Members say one of their fraternity brothers has a mother struggling with the disease which attacks the body’s central nervous system. There is no cure.
The group hiked for about a week, averaging 20 miles a day. They spent most of the hike along the White Pine Trail, but also hit side streets and marched through the snow to finish.
“Definitely leaning on that brotherhood and that special bond that we have…Giving ourselves up for that higher calling, definitely helped us get through the event,” explained GVSU Junior James Zyrek.
A.J. Talerico, a member of the hiker’s support team added “I liked the idea of doing something non-traditional, being different, and what better way to be different than helping others.”
In the end, the group raised more than $15,000 thousand dollars. Members say they are already planning to do the walk again next year.
“It really was a life changing event for all the guys and for that we will always be thankful to everyone,” said Tyler Dunham, another hiker. “There’s no way that we’re going to let this stop after this year, the success and just how much fun it was. There’s no way it won’t be back.”