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Your donation directly funds the Keene Award given to deserving college students fighting a cancer diagnosis.
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The Shirlock Foundation is named in memory of a close friend, Jonathan Shirlock, who lost his battle with leukemia in the spring of 2006. Despite the adversity he faced, Shirlock (as his friends called him) always had a positive attitude and carried a smile on his face. Jonathan was friendly and incredibly talented, and stood out as a student at Georgia Tech and as a brother of Theta Chi Fraternity. He was constantly involved in designing banners and T-shirts for the fraternity, and created the winning T-shirt design for Georgia Tech's 2002 Homecoming.
During his treatment in and out of Emory Hospital, Shirlock's mother spent a great deal of time away from her job in South Georgia to be by his side in Atlanta. Her time away from work imposed a great financial burden when the money was most needed. The brothers of Theta Chi did what they could to help by selling boiled peanuts at Georgia Tech football games and giving the proceeds to Shirlock and his family.
Following his loss, a group of his closest friends decided to commemorate Shirlock's memory with a charitable organization, so that something good could result from the sorrow of his loss. The purpose and goals of the Shirlock Foundation are the results of the simple endeavors to raise money for Shirlock and his mother. As such, the Shirlock Foundation was born.
The Keene Award
In early April of 2007, another friend of the foundation, Sara Keene, was diagnosed with leukemia. Sara Keene was a sister of Alpha Chi Omega at Georgia Tech, and her diagnosis was yet another devastating blow landing close to home. In hopes of doing something in honor of Sara and in memory of Shirlock, the Greek community organized an event called "Cooks' Night Off." The premise behind the fundraising event was to get campus organizations that offer meal plans to give their cook the night off, and the Shirlock Foundation would provide dinner for the students instead. The money that was saved by giving the cook the night off was donated to charity.
A BBQ picnic on campus was designated as the dinner event, where students could both mingle and relax, but also learn more about the newly formed Shirlock Foundation. As the Shirlock Foundation's kickoff fundraiser, Cooks' Night Off turned out to be a huge success. Despite rain and thunderstorms, nearly 400 people showed up to eat, interact with others, and learn about our mission. Though Sara sadly passed away in 2008, the Shirlock Foundation has created the Keene Award in her memory. The award is given to deserving students that are covered within the Foundation’s mission.
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