Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Stepping into the ring: The Fight Against Suicide

Courtesy of The Fight Against Suicide
Image from a boxing match at the event at University of Georgia.

Coming to The University of Alabama this month is The Fight Against Suicide, an annual philanthropic event gearing up to a positive change in the mental health of others. The event will take place at 6 p.m. on Feb. 29, at the Tuscaloosa River Market, followed by an after-party at Druid City Social from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

This organized event hosts an amateur boxing match to raise money for a nonprofit foundation driving suicide prevention and awareness. Volunteering to box in this year’s Fight Against Suicide are 22 members of fraternities here at the University, totaling 11 different matches.  

To prepare for the upcoming event, these volunteers have received five weeks of free, intensive training at a local Tuscaloosa gym, working with professional boxer Deontay Wilder.   

All the money raised from this event is donated to the Samuel L. Asbury Foundation, which started in 2020 to honor its namesake, who died by suicide. The foundation works with other organizations, such as the We Stand Together Foundation and The Hidden Opponent, toward a shared mission of promoting awareness and prevention of suicide and depression.  

The Tuscaloosa community is already making immense strides to support this cause. Christopher Kollme, a junior majoring in finance and certified promoter of the event, shared that The Fight Against Suicide at the University has raised almost $45,000 toward this cause within its first year on campus.  

I don’t think anyone was really expecting us to have taken off as much as we would’ve thought, or to have this support from the Tuscaloosa community, friends and family as we would’ve expected, but we did and we’re really thankful and happy about that. We were able to turn around a good amount of profit to the foundation,” Kollme said. 

The Fight Against Suicide originally started at the University of Georgia, where it gained immense success. Growing up in Atlanta, Kollme had heard about this event from high school friends for years and eventually decided it was time to bring it to Tuscaloosa.

In 2023, Kollme partnered with Ebbie Stutts in September 2023, and the two worked to make this dream a reality. By December they had worked with David Edmiston, founder of The Fight Against Suicide at UGA, to form a committee, acquire local sponsorships, get volunteers and set up the event.  

Now, the organization can fund the Samuel L. Asbury Foundation from not one, but two of the largest SEC schools.  

“Being allowed to have this platform at a student body of over 30,000 people gives us a huge platform to reach out and spread awareness throughout the campuses in order to hopefully make a change to this stigma, break these boundaries, and create an environment where we’re able to … have healthy relationships and healthy communication about mental health,” Kollme said. 

The Tuscaloosa community is ecstatic to see such positive change driven by the hard work of its own students, Greek organizations and local businesses. In this ring, every punch thrown and every donation made embodies the compassion and resilience of this organization to break the silence and to save lives. If you are unable to attend and would still like to donate to support this cause, there is an opportunity to do so through its website. 

To purchase tickets for this event or learn more information, you can go to its website or Instagram.  

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