UCO Sorority Supports Ailing Sister With Melanoma Awareness Week Oct. 15-18

University of Central Oklahoma freshman Madison Watts (left) is welcomed as a new member in the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority by Tavner Snelson (right), a UCO sophomore, in August. The sorority will host Melanoma Awareness Week Oct. 15-18 to raise funds to support Watts, who was diagnosed with the disease a few weeks into her freshman year at UCO.

Oct. 9, 2012

Media Contact:  Courtney Bass, University Relations Staff Writer, University of Central Oklahoma, 405-974-2121, cbass4@uco.edu

UCO SORORITY SUPPORTS AILING SISTER WITH MELANOMA AWARENESS WEEK OCT. 15-18

“This could have happened to anyone of us,” said Allex Tarr, a senior at the University of Central Oklahoma, when 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 Central’s Alpha Gamma Delta chapter.  The chapter has already hosted several small fundraising events at local restaurants, but they will go big when they will host Melanoma Awareness Week at Central Oct. 15-18, raising awareness of the disease and money for Watts’ medical care through a series of events, including an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner at their chapter house.

Melanoma Awareness Week kicks off at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 15 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.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16 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 Oct. 18 at the Alpha Gamma Delta house on the corner of N. Jackson and E. 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 the semester,” said Tarr. “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 405-760-9993.

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Editor’s Note: Download art for publication with this release at www.uco.edu/photo/MaddysMission.

Cutline: University of Central Oklahoma freshman Madison Watts (left) is welcomed as a new member in the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority by Tavner Snelson (right), a UCO sophomore, in August. The sorority will host Melanoma Awareness Week Oct. 15-18 to raise funds to support Watts, who was diagnosed with the disease a few weeks into her freshman year at UCO.