TKE members to complete run after tragic accident

We hope the streets of Marquette this afternoon were full of spectators cheering on a special group of young men, who are showing great strength through adversity.

These young men are the Theta-Iota chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Northern Michigan University. Each year, the frat has a “Tub Push” to raise money for charity. In the event, a bathtub is pushed by members from Sault Ste. Marie to Marquette, roughly a 165-mile journey.

During this year’s tub push a few weeks back, tragedy occurred when three members were injured in a three-car crash.

Two of the TKE members received minor injuries, but the third was not so lucky. Leo Maiorana, 23, was pushing the tub between two vehicles driving on the shoulder of M-28 with their hazards on when the rear vehicle was rear ended “at a high speed by a careless driver,” the Leo Needs New Legs GoFundMe page states. The post continues: “Not only did this total the car, but pushed it forward with enough force to slam into Leo himself. Not only did the impact break the Tibia in his left leg, but it shattered both bones in his right leg, both of which were compound, which means the bones broke through the skin. He was also concussed and sustained trauma to his left eye.”

To honor their injured friends, the fraternity were to complete the tub push at 3 p.m. today. TKE members will take off from the corner of Front and Washington streets heading down Washington Street up Third Street and down Presque Isle Avenue until reaching the Lake Superior Village Youth Center, the local nonprofit organization the fraternity has chosen to donate to this year along with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which the fraternity donates to each year.

“What we’re trying to do is for all the guys who got hurt and for all the people that these events benefit we’re really trying to finish what they started,” said TKE alumnus Ethan Reader, ceremonial tub push organizer.

The group also hopes to raise funds for Maiorana’s recovery through the GoFundMe page, which is hoping to reach a $300,000 goal to be used to pay for college tuition, damage to Maiorana’s car, specialized housing, follow-up care such as orthopedics, psychology, neurology, trauma and occupational therapy, physical therapy as well as a host of other medical expenses incurred and to come. At minimum, Maiorana’s recovery will take approximately 18 months, the GoFundMe states.

The fraternity has been hosting the tub push for the past 60 years as a way for new TKE members and active members to bond while giving back to the community. The fraternity focuses on “making better men for a better world.” To us, it looks like they’re reaching that goal.

“We just really want to emphasize that even though we’re the ones who put on the event, this really isn’t about us, it’s about the community,” Reader said.

We hope the Upper Peninsula community steps up to help these wonderful young men.

For more information on the ceremonial tub push visit the Facebook event page titled “United Communities; Benefiting St Jude and the Village Youth Center.” To donate to the tub push visit “Tke Tub Push for St. Jude” on GoFundMe and to donate to Leo Maiorana visit “Leo Needs New Legs, Among Other Things” on GoFundMe.


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