The fraternity brothers of Phi Delta Theta are gearing up for their annual philanthropic fundraising event, the Tomato Pelt, and decided as a group to donate the money differently this year — to the victims of the NAU shooting.
“Well, right away we knew it was the right thing to do,” said Kyle Brown, a member of Phi Delta Theta. “Other sororities like Tri-Delta donated 75 percent of their proceeds from their philanthropy event to the Delta Chi families.”
It’s a show of support that has become the norm on NAU’s campus in the wake of the campus shooting that killed 20-year-old Colin Brough and left three other students, Kyle Zientek, Nick Prato and Nick Piring wounded.
Just hours after the incident, members of Greek life organized a candlelight vigil on campus that was followed by a university-organized walk where thousands of students came out to prove they’re still “NAU strong.”
“That’s what being Greek’s all about,” said Sam Eastman, president of Phi Delta Theta. “It’s not about what fraternity or sorority you’re in, it’s about stepping in and supporting them in any way you can.”
Eastman said the fraternity usually donates money from their philanthropic event to ALS, but said discussion about changing that began immediately after the tragedy. All of the members were on board with donating the money differently and hope to contribute as much as possible to the families. The event is open to student groups at NAU and they’re encouraging more teams to sign up for the Saturday event.
Doug Brough, father of Colin, said the outpouring of support has been incredible.
“It’s just awesome,” he said. “The fraternities and sororities [and] the support from all over the country, but especially Flagstaff has been unbelievable.”
Brough said the family has launched the non-profit, “Live for Colin” that will focus on educating parents and students about gun laws on college campuses across the country. A scholarship will also be started in Colin’s name, another way so many continue to honor Colin’s memory.
“[Colin] would be in awe and he would figure out how to have some fun out of all of it,” Brough said.