Brotherly love is a sign of true friendship – the idea that our brothers will be always be there for us, especially during difficult times. When tragedy struck the life of a Coastal Carolina alumnus last winter, the undergraduates of the chapter had the chance to prove how strong that friendship can be.
On December 5, 2013, Don Emery, Coastal Carolina ‘91, learned that his daughter, Fallon, had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer, and would need to undergo extensive medical treatment.
As soon as they found out, the brothers of Coastal Carolina stepped up to help raise money for the medical bills.
“Donny has always supported our chapter,” said chapter president Brian Van Nest, ‘15. “We were struggling, and he had our backs. He could have looked away and we could have failed, but the brotherly love he learned from SigEp kept him with us.”
Immediately after receiving the news, the chapter’s executive committee gathered and decided to host a golf scramble to help raise the funds. In the coming weeks, they worked with alumni and friends of the family to organize the event, and chapter brothers launched a Go Fund Me campaign to gather donations from those who couldn’t attend.
“The golf scramble was a huge success,” said Van Nest. “We had 42 teams sign up, and we also raffled off gifts from local businesses.”
By the end of the day, the South Carolina Epsilon Chapter had successfully raised over $12,000 for young Fallon.
“I’ve always tried to support the undergraduates over the years,” says Emery. “To see them respond and step up like that for me and my family … was very much appreciated.”
The chapter’s actions did not go unnoticed in the community. Following the event, the university honored the chapter with the Philanthropy of the Year award for their service.
“It was surreal and was a real honor,” says Van Nest. “To be recognized for something that means so much to you is an amazing feeling.”
Looking back on the act of service, Emery said the experience reminds him of what true friendship is all about.
“As a SigEp, I think that anytime you have the opportunity to have an impact on someone else’s life to make things better, that you step up and do it. That’s what is important in life – being a good man and being a good brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon. That’s what being in a fraternity and brotherly love is all about. It’s not about going out and partying, it’s about bonding together and doing the most good that you can do, and this is a great example of that.”