With all of the good work that fraternities and sororities do, it takes a lot to hold “the largest” of anything. But the Epsilon Xi chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity at Ole Miss does indeed hold “the largest collegiate philanthropy in the country which benefits victims of paralysis,” and the story of this year’s event is as touching as ever.
The annual event is called the Charity Bowl, a football game in which members of Sigma Nu play against a rival fraternity. The event was started in 1990 in honor of the late Roy Lee “Chucky” Mullins, an Ole Miss football player who became immediately paralyzed during a tackle at the 1989 Homecoming game against Vanderbilt. I wonder if Eli Manning, who was a member of the chapter during his time at Ole Miss, ever played in the game? Sorry, random thought there. Anyway, while the weather was pretty crappy, this year’s game between Sigma Nu and the brothers of the Kappa Alpha Order, along with a sorority cheer competition, raised an astounding $75,000.
This year’s beneficiary also has a pretty amazing story. Kevin Orr is a former Oxford, MS police officer who was paralyzed after a motorcycle accident in May 2008. Since his accident, Kevin has had one singular goal, according to HottyToddy.com, “to advocate for people with spinal injuries and disabilities.”
Furthermore, he works with disabled people to help them become independent and creative through painting as well as working for a nonprofit in Tupelo called the Life Office. He also maintains a blog, Kevin On Wheels , where he talks about how honored he was to be this year’s recipient and his connection to the man who inspired the event:
From Kevin On Wheels:
“Chucky Mullins was an important person in my life even before my injury. After my injury, he became an even bigger inspiration. I was hurt May 14, 2008 and arrived home August 1, 2008. The following spring I decided I would attend the Chucky Mullins courage award banquet every year. I love Ole Miss football and Chucky Mullins is a very important figure associated with the football team. I thought it was amazing they still recognize him and his number is back on the field. So I haven’t missed a banquet since my injury.
I’ll always remember a statement that the first recipient of the Chucky Mullins courage award and football player to wear his number made. He said ‘I wonder if Chucky would think they picked the right guy.’ So I hope that Chucky would think I was deserving of this award.”
I’m pretty sure he would be, Kevin. And I’d like to think he’d be pretty proud of the brothers of Sigma Nu, too..
Image via Twitter