ATO's begin Walk Hard 2011 event

Posted: Friday, 04 March 2011

MONTGOMERY—Five Alpha Tau Omega fraternity brothers at Troy University are on their way to Spring Break in Panama City, Fla. the hard way.

They’re backpacking from TROY to the coast.

Their goal is to draw awareness to and raise money for the Easter Seals’ Camp AASCA, which supports summer camp activities for children and adults in Alabama with special needs. The camp is located in Dadeville.

State Farm Insurance is the group’s title sponsor and Tahiti Tans, Momma Goldberg’s and Red Bull are primary sponsors. The students have raised money from businesses and individuals, said Kyle Crabtree, one of the event’s organizers.

Crabtree, a junior broadcast journalism major from Dadeville, is joined on the hike by fraternity brothers Austin Bivins, a junior psychology major from Clanton, Jacob Laan, a senior criminal justice major from Ider, Matt Dobson, a freshman from Crestview, Fla., and Rick Dahrens, a sophomore psychology major from Hudson, Mass.

The group will hike 130 miles from TROY to Panama City Beach, Fla., averaging about 20 miles each day. They are carrying all their supplies and equipment on the expedition and will camp along the route at predetermined locations. They will arrive in Panama City Beach on Wednesday, March 9.

The group’s route will take then down Alabama Highway 167, with stops along the way. The group will be in Enterprise Saturday, depending on the weather, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., on Sunday in Hartford from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., in Esto, Fla., from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., on Monday in Bonifay from 11 a.m. to Noon, and at Becton Pond (Vernon) from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

On Wednesday, the group will stop in Southport and Lynn Haven from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and arrive at Pier Park in Panama City Beach at 4 p.m.

Crabtree said that the stops were intended as additional opportunities for people to come out and support Camp AASCA.

For more information, video updates of the expedition and to donate visit the group’s website at

Sullivan Award

Five Alpha Tau Omega brothers at Troy University left from the Quad Friday morning on a 130-mile backpacking expedition to Panama City Beach, Fla., as part of their Walk Hard 2011 fundraising event that supports the Easter Seals’ Camp AASCA. In this photo the backpackers are joined by other ATOs who walked them off the Troy Campus. (TROY photo/Cass Davis)