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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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First philanthropy event funds anti-bullying initiative

David+Molak
Photo by Photo by: Jack Riewe
David Molak

The Beta Theta Pi fraternity rallied behind one of its member’s anti-bullying message with the first ever “Don’t Bully Me” Festival Saturday.

Seventeen-year-old David Molak, brother of “Beta” member Chris Molak, committed suicide in January in their hometown of San Antonio after reportedly being cyber bullied by his peers. Chris has been working since then to spread an anti-bullying message by creating the David’s Legacy Foundation, getting a law passed that holds those who cyber bully accountable and — with the help of Beta — planning Beta’s new philanthropy event, DBM Fest. 

After deciding to change the frat’s philanthropy event in the wake of the tragedy, Beta members decided to host the DBM fest, which stands for ‘Don’t Bully Me’ and also serves as David Molak’s initials. 

The festival included music from Hudson Moore, the John King Band and Chris Knight, hourly raffles and a silent auction. All the proceeds went to David’s Legacy Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit which will work to combat cyber bullying. The amount of money raised from the event was not available at time of press. 

“After months of brainstorming and trekking into unknown territory that Beta had never really attempted before, it really is cool to see how far simple ideas and suggestions can blossom into a successful event to be built on and improved in the future,” Chris said. 

Chris said he is proud of his fellow Beta members and their attributions to the success of the event.

“I’m especially proud of the younger Betas that took initiative in the planning and execution of DBM Fest,” Chris said. “It means a lot to see others assume the passion that I have for this cause. I could not have done it without their help along with our philanthropy chair, Jared Stavinoha.”

Other organizations on campus helped make DBM Fest a reality and reached out to help Beta with its new cause, said Chris.

“The Aggie Gentlemen of Integrity are a recently created student organization that has broken my expectations of genuine dedication to public service after their contributions to David’s Legacy and the attached awareness,” Chris said. “Before this event, I think I knew only one member of this organization. Now, I call all of them friends,” Chris said.

Chris said the best thing about the event was the diversity of the attendees coming together to celebrate kindness and inclusivity. Members of his San Antonio community made the trip to College Station to support the event — including Chris and David’s parents.

“It was good for them to see the effort and heart that was put into this event by everybody who planned and attended the event,” Chris said. “It truly is the support of friends, family and even strangers that get us through our daily battles.” 

In addition to the attractions, the Student Counseling Services also had a presence in the festival to spread awareness of the tragedy that took David’s life. 

Annabeth Reeb, English junior and volunteer for the Student Counseling Services, said it’s important to bring light to the issue of bullying, not for just teenagers, but college students as well. 

“This event is targeting mainly bullying and high-school and stuff, but I think it’s really great it’s in a college town that we’re doing this because it’s also such a big deal in college and in the entire community. We’re trying to reach out to high-schools and A&M alike,” Reeb said. 

Nathan Guerra, business administration junior and member of Beta, said this cause has a special meaning to the chapter. 

“I do like this cause, not that I haven’t liked previous causes, but this one is just special. It definitely has deeper meaning and I think that’s important. It rings a little louder with everyone here in Beta,” Guerra said. “Hopefully that can translate to more support.” 

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