The Edmond Sun

University Life

October 15, 2012

UCO sorority helps sister with melanoma

EDMOND — Special to The Sun

A University of Central Oklahoma sorority is supporting a sister battling melanoma.

“This could have happened to anyone of us,” said Allex Tarr, a UCO senior speaking about Madison Watts, or “Maddy,” a freshman at the university and one of Tarr’s new sisters in the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority.

Watts, a Putnam City North graduate, was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, a form of skin cancer, during her first weeks at Central and is currently undergoing treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

“Even though we had only known her for a few weeks, our love for her as a sister was so strong that the whole sorority was passionate about helping in some way,” Tarr said.

“Some way” has turned into a lot of ways to help for UCO’s Alpha Gamma Delta chapter. Members already have hosted several small fundraising events at local restaurants, but they will go big when they will host UCO’s Melanoma Awareness Week Oct. 15-18, raising awareness of the disease and money for Watts’ medical care through a series of events. They include an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner at the chapter’s house.

Melanoma Awareness Week kicked off at 11 a.m. Monday near Broncho Lake with the sorority handing out free sunscreen samples, information about melanoma and Maddy’s Mission, a philanthropy created to help the Watts family pay for medical bills.

That evening from 8-10 p.m. there was to be a candlelight vigil in Plunkett Park on the campus. Participants learned about melanoma while lighting a candle for loved ones who suffer from cancer.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Nigh University Center the Acacia fraternity will host a dinner and a date auction to collect money for Maddy’s Mission.

The week will conclude with Oodles O’ Noodles, an annual all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Alpha Gamma Delta house on the corner of North Jackson and East Thatcher streets to the west of the UCO campus. Each ticket costs $5 and proceeds will benefit Maddy’s Mission. Tickets can be purchased at the door or from any Alpha Gamma Delta member at UCO.

“Our goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of October,” Tarr said. “We’re thrilled with the support from our fellow Greek brothers and sisters, and with additional support from the rest of the campus and community, we’ll reach that goal.”

All events are open to the public.

In addition to the on-campus events, there will be donation buckets in local restaurants and gas stations throughout Edmond during the month of October for Maddy’s Mission.

Also, anybody wanting to donate to Maddy’s Mission to assist the family with financial obligations can go to any MidFirst Bank and make a check payable to “Maddy’s Mission.”

FOR MORE information about Maddy’s Mission or Melanoma Awareness Week visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MaddysMission or contact Tarr at 760-9993.

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