Thirteen greek organizations at The University of Alabama will host the “Rock Out to Knock Out CF” fundraiser Friday from 5-8 p.m. to raise money for the Thomas Plott Foundation.
Five-year-old Thomas Plott was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was 10 weeks old. After he was diagnosed, he was immediately put on various medications and several daily treatments.
“He is your typical, gregarious little boy who just happens to have CF,” Blair Plott, Thomas’ mother, said. “He plays flag football, tennis and was recently inducted into the Student Government Association at his school, Verner Elementary”.
Plott reached out to Wilson King, a senior majoring in chemical engineering and member of Phi Gamma Delta, who then began to discuss possible fundraisers with Gracie Davis, a senior majoring in nursing.
“The more we talked, the more we realized that if we worked hard enough, we could really put together something special,” King said.
Phi Gamma Delta and Sigma Nu are now combining their front yards to accomodate everyone involved.
Davis met Thomas while involved with the RISE Center in Tuscaloosa where he attended preschool. She soon became Thomas’ full-time babysitter, which allowed her to see the everyday challenges of cystic fibrosis.
“The strength Thomas and his family display is something that I wish everyone had the opportunity to witness,” Davis said.
Blair Plott and her husband formed the Thomas Plott Foundation soon after learning about Thomas’ condition.
“My husband and I serve as the state advocates for cystic fibrosis, taking us to Washington once or twice a year to visit our elected officials and advocate for the disease,” Plott said.
With the numerous fundraisers Plott and her husband host, they have raised over $300,000 for the cystic fibrosis foundation.
Most members of the greek organizations who have pledged support are donating $5 toward the Thomas Plott Foundation.
“The Phi Gamma Delta House Corporation, Sigma Alpha Epsilon House Corporation and Sigma Chi House Corporation have also been inspired by the generosity that the greek system is showing and have pledged to make sizable donations,” King said.
The Phi Gamma Delta pledge class began a letter-writing campaign and has sent out more than 400 letters to family and friends asking for donations in support of the Thomas Plott Foundation.
“All the money raised for the organization goes directly towards essential research aimed to find a cure for better treatments for cystic fibrosis,” King said.
Davis said most of the publicity the greek system has had on campus lately has been negative.
“Rock Out to Knock Out CF is not only about to be one of the biggest individual philanthropy events ever hosted, but it was accomplished solely by the same group of kids everyone said would never do anything positive for Tuscaloosa,” Davis said.
Greek organization members are hopeful this fundraiser may show that recent events don’t define all members involved with the greek system.
“We want people to see one of the many positives that come from the UA greek system. Most of the time, the members of greek organizations are portrayed as arrogant, snobby, wild, ungrateful and now have indirectly been called racists. The University of Alabama rarely hears about how much philanthropy comes from the greek system. I think it speaks volumes,” King said.
Davis said the Rock Out to Knock Out CF fundraiser has brought greek students together for a great cause.
“Over the last month, Wilson and I have watched all of these houses come together, not because anyone told them they had to, but simply because they want to help save a child’s life,” Davis said.