This fall’s Homecoming campaigns have introduced a variety of new themes— including the possibility of having two kings crowned at Saturday’s game instead of one.
Chris Atkins, homecoming king candidate sponsored by the Farmhouse fraternity, is campaigning as a “King for a Cause.” He has an unexpected running mate— 7 year old Nathan Orban, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemie at the age of 2. All proceeds of Chris and Nathan’s campaign will be donated to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in Nathan’s name.
“Farmhouse’s philanthropy raises money for the LLS, so the campaign is very near to our hearts already,” Atkins said. “I knew that I wanted to incorporate the LLS into the campaign because it is something that [the Farmhouse] has become so involved with over the years… I really wanted to find a way for our homecoming campaign to give back to both them and the community.”
From August 2008 to October 2011, Nathan underwent consistent chemotherapy treatments, spending days in the hospital and enduring multiple blood transfusions. “I contacted the LLS and told them how I wanted to raise money and awareness through my campaign… I also asked if they knew of any Virginia Tech fans who would want to also help support our school,” Atkins said, explaining how he was led to Nathan.
Nathan is an extremely dedicated Virginia Tech fan. He hopes to someday become a Hokie and to even play quarterback for the football team. This Saturday will be his first Virginia Tech football game; something that Atkins said Nathan’s whole family is “very excited for.”
There are multiple ways to help donate to both the campaign and the LLS. For every like on the Facebook page and view or share of the campaign video, a donation is made. T-shirts are also being sold for $10 each, or direct donations can be made on the campaign’s webpage.
Donations are coming in so quickly that it is difficult for Atkins’ and his brothers to keep track of all that they have made. “To make a donation to the LLS for a specific purpose, the donation must be a minimum of $10,000,” Atkins said, stating their fundraising goal. A wide range of family members, friends, students and other viewers of the website have already contributed greatly to the cause, bringing Atkins and Nathan one step closer to their goal.
“The purpose is not to get one person to donate a bunch of money,” Atkins said, “it is to get the whole community involved and to have as many people donate any amount that they can.”
The week following the homecoming game, the Farmhouse will also be hosting a Mudrun 5K for the LLS, the final component of the campaign that will determine the official amount that has been fundraised.
For Atkins and his brothers at Farmhouse, Nathan becoming king would just be an added bonus to their campaign. “We are very passionate about making Nathan our king, but we are even more passionate about raising money for the LLS through the help of one of the greatest traditions at Virginia Tech- homecoming.”
Nathan and his family will have to wait till Saturday, when the Homecoming King and Queen are crowned, to find out if Virginia Tech will be having one or two kings this year.