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SAE holds charity fundraiser

Throughout the month of March, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the AJ Donohue Scholarship Fund, formerly known as the AJ Donohue Foundation, will join together to raise money for the Wolfson Children Hospital in Jacksonville, FL.
The AJ Donohue Foundation started with a teenage boy who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that later spread to his lung, in 2005, according to his brother Luke Donohue, SAE chronicler and freshman history major.
“The foundation began during one of my family’s many stays in Wolfson,” said Donohue.
The family noticed the lack of accommodations for the patients and their families, like having more than one chair in the room, Donohue said.
“Often times, my dad would have to have to sleep in the lobby or I would have to stand for the visit,” Donohue said.
This inspired AJ Donohue to raise money for not only hospital development but also for cancer research, according to Luke Donohue.
The goal was $50,000, which was accomplished by selling custom stickers and T-Shirts with an image of AJ flying an airplane, according to News4Jax.com.
“My brother and I are both pilots,” Donohue said. “One of his goals before he passed away was to fly by himself. Most people knew he loved flying and so we made the plane the sticker.”
The morning after the goal was finally met, after word of the foundation had spread all over the U.S. and to 67 countries, AJ passed away at the age of 18 on September 23, 2006, Donohue said.
The foundation doubled, then tripled, and was able to start providing scholarships for oncology nurses, Donohue said.
“My brother got along very well with his nurses,” Donohue said.
Although the money now primarily goes towards the scholarship, hospital development is a focus for the foundation.
“The ages [of the patients who] receive treatment range from ages 6 months to 18. To those patients, subtle things like DVD players in the room and arcade games in the hall can make a world of difference. These small children face situations that I could never fathom, and their resiliency has inspired me and my family to keep the tradition of raising money for the hospital alive in order to affect the lives of the precious young boys and girls who have little else to enjoy,” Donohue said.
SAE is now doing their part by helping to raise money for this hospital that has helped the Donohue family and other families so much.
“We felt like this would be a great cause to donate and promote because of the impact that cancer, especially in children, has on so many families,” Jordan Mann, SAE president and senior public relations major, said.
SAE is also holding the fundraiser in memory of AJ Donohue and “in honor of his efforts to raise money for the hospital,” Donohue said.
To raise money, SAE is offering sponsorships to local businesses and individuals, as well as mailing out flyers and letters to request donations, according to Donohue.
Sponsors who donate $100 will receive a T-shirt with their and other sponsors’ logos on it; those who donate $200 will receive the same T-shirt and be advertised on a banner in front of the SAE house during the Relay for Life week, according to Donohue.
Any monetary donation is appreciated, and any donor will receive the official foundation sticker, according to the Facebook event site.
Donohue will personally deliver the money to the hospital at the beginning of April, where the hospital will use this money to provide the current children in their care with accommodations and services, according to Donohue.
If you wish to donate, contact Luke Donohue (lpdonohue@valdosta.edu) or Jordan Mann (jtmann@valdosta.edu).

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