Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Salt Lake City along with Derrick Porter, Alpha Nu 2015, to represent our 2014 Fight Night philanthropic efforts. Huntsman invited leaders from each chapter of Sigma Chi which raised at least $20,000 for Huntsman in the previous year. Thanks to wonderful support from our alumni, the Alpha Nu Chapter raised $65,083 for Huntsman in the 2014-2015 year, making the University of Texas – Alpha Nu chapter the leading donor of international Sigma Chi chapters.

The weekend consisted of meeting and collaborating with other successful school leaders to share ideas and enjoy a secluded Utah ranch. We spent one afternoon alternating between fly fishing and skeet shooting, and finished the day with memories of our events and strategies that can be used to help grow other events. Derrick Porter and I were able to detail how the success of our event was achieved by much preparation, a strong alumni support base, a traditional event that attracts Sigma Chis from all age groups, and ultimately, a great cause that inspires me as the 2015 Fight Night Chairman to grow the event in any way we can.

I believe in our event and our beneficiaries and our ability to positively benefit our community through our partners and beneficiaries. I believe in cancer research funding because my grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. I have many years of wonderful memories with her thanks to research and funding done in the past decades, and I know the work we are doing today will enable more and more families to not be torn apart by this disease but will let them share many years of cherished memories after hopefully successful bouts with cancer.

To end the weekend, we visited the Huntsman Cancer Institute Research Center and Hospital for the dedication of the 6th floor as The Sigma Chi International Fraternity Sixth Floor based off of our previous donations and a continued committed to our cause. Present were Significant Sig and Order of Constantine Sig Jon Huntsman, Sr. (Penn 1959), International Sweethear Mary Sugden, 6th Grand Consul Mike Greenber (Illinois Wesleyan 1982), among many other alumni and members dedicating this proud moment. Touring the hospital and expansive research center, it was very reassuring to see the direct impact of our donations. A working hospital, we saw many patients entering for treatments who are able to have chemotherapy treatments with a beautiful overlooking area of mountains and Salt Lake City underneath. It was particularly impactful to see a woman visiting her husband during his treatment as she sincerely thanked us after learning of our contributions to Huntsman.

The weekend was a great escape that allowed me to witness firsthand where our hard work and donations go to. I will keep Huntsman Cancer Institute and B+ Foundation (our other chief beneficiary and cancer research funding charity) in mind often as I work on the event and prepare for Fight Night on November 6th. Alpha Nu alumni, please consider attending Fight Night and keep posted for an update on ticket information. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or ideas for our event.

–    Mike Opolski, Fight Night Chairman 2015, Alpha Nu 2017

For more information on this year’s Fight Night event, visit www.txfightnight.com.

Significant Sig Jon Huntsman, Sr. making the announcement of Sigma Chi Internationals $10 million pledge to support cancer research funding Significant Sig Jon Huntsman, Sr. making the announcement of Sigma Chi Internationals $10 million pledge to support cancer research funding The Alpha Nu CHapter's brick on the Walk of Hope outside the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah The Alpha Nu CHapter’s brick on the Walk of Hope outside the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah