Massachusetts Daily Collegian

‘Grill for Bill’ event to raise money for child’s kidney transplant

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Jong Man Kim/Collegian

Jong Man Kim/Collegian

Members of the University of Massachusetts’ Greek life are hosting a fundraiser event on Saturday, Nov. 12 in Kappa Sigma house on 778 North Pleasant St. to help raise money for a 10-year-old boy in need of a kidney transplant.

The fundraiser, “Grill for Bill,” is for Bill Chu, an Amherst resident, who was diagnosed in April with IgA nephropathy, a kidney disease.

Members of Kappa Sigma and other Greek life groups are planning to assist and hope for a large turnout. Some of the Greek life organizations include Kappa Sigma, Phi Sigma Kappa, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Alpha Sigma Phi, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Pi Kappa Phi and Kappa Kappa Gamma.

“We found out about Bill and his situation a few weeks ago when our neighbors hosted a pancake breakfast for him,” said Cameron Callahan, a sophomore mechanical engineering major and public relations chair of Kappa Sigma. “We spoke with our neighbors at their event about how they were hoping the pancake breakfast would be a start-up for more events to come and we said we would be very willing to put together an event to help Bill and his family out.”

Chu is a fourth grader at Wildwood Elementary. His father, Tu Chu, works full-time in auxiliary services at UMass. His mother, Han Chu volunteers at the Amherst Survival Center.

“Since he is our neighbor, our members took a very large interest in helping him and his family and we are really hoping we can raise awareness about his situation,” Callahan said. “We can make a difference in our community and we want Bill to know that we, as a community, care about him.”

Around 15 local businesses made donations to the fundraiser. Some of the businesses include Antonio’s Pizza, Insomnia Cookies, Hebert Candies, Taco Bell, Friendly’s and Johnny’s Roadside Diner. Most donations have been made in the form of gift cards along with a gift basket from Hebert Candies, according to Callahan.

With a five dollar donation, unlimited food will be provided. The event will also feature raffles. All proceeds raised are going to Chu’s cause.

Over $15,000 have been raised for Chu, according to the webpage set up through COTA, Children’s Organ Transplant Association, though the kidney transplant surgery costs are estimated at around $50,000.

“The (Children’s Organ Transplant Association) for Bill volunteer team is thrilled with the outpouring of support from the Greek community. The sorority sisters and fraternity brothers at Lambda Phi Epsilon, Kappa Sigma and Kappa Phi Lambda have been very generous with their time in planning fundraising events in honor of Bill,” said Karen Harrington, neighbor and friend of the Chu family. “The Chu family is deeply appreciative of the kindness shown by the Greek community.”

Harrington has been involved with coordinating some of the fundraising events to help with the costs of Bill’s surgery.

The donation website can be found here.

Hayley Johnson can be reached at [email protected]

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Hayley Johnson, Editor in Chief
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