News

Ready. Set. Spike for Mike.

Hundreds of students gathered at the Sigma Chi fraternity house Sunday for a volleyball tournament to help raise money for Mike Bakutes, a brother that was diagnosed with Juvenile Ossifying Fibroma, a rare and aggressive tumor, this summer.

The fraternity was notified via e-mail this June that their brother would be on medical leave for the semester in order to go through a series of rigorous surgeries. As soon as the word was out two of Bakutes’ fraternity brothers, Jeremy Turim and Gabe Adelman, began planning the fundraiser.

The boys contacted parents, local businesses, and all of Bakutes’ friends inside and out of Greek life.

“Mike has friends in other fraternities and from all over campus,” Turim said. “We wanted to make sure we went beyond Greek life and made this a campus wide event.”

The boys were successful. The Sigma Chi house was overflowing with members of every fraternity and sorority on campus, unaffiliated students, parents and even some dogs. Over 50 six-member volleyball teams participated and lots of other supporters came to watch.

Miles and Shari Barish, Bakutes’ grandparents, traveled from Delray Beach to attend the event. Shari Barish or “nanny” as Bakutes calls her, is no stranger to illness. A survivor of breast cancer herself, she admitted that she cried a lot when she heard the news in June.

Shari Barish traveled to New York to be with her grandson through his surgery. The procedure required doctors to remove ten of his teeth and most of his lower jaw, they also had to insert a metal plate in his lip and wire his jaw which doesn’t allow him to eat solid food.

“We are so proud of him,” Shari Barish said.  “He is in such good spirits and keeps telling us all to stay positive. His biggest complaint is that he is hungry.”

Bakutes’ is described by all his friends as an outgoing guy who is friendly with everyone. The outpouring of support by his peers confirms how likable Bakutes is in the Miami community.

“We have totally exceeded our expectations. We raised over $4,000 coming into the day,” said Adelman, who was planning on living with Bakutes this semester.

In addition to donations and the $30 entry fee for each volleyball team, Nick Rodriguez, another Sigma Chi brother, created and sold 200 black t-shirts that read “Spike for Mike 2010” in neon pink print. Rodriguez used the pink print to show support for the Susan G. Komen foundation. Mike and his family will donate half of all the money raised to the foundation for breast cancer and will use the other half to help with medical bills.

“We all just want to help in any way possible,” Rodriguez said. “I went with a few friends to see Mike in New York before his surgery and all he could talk about was coming back to Miami for the spring semester.

Ali Kitenplon may be contacted at akitenplon@themiamihurricane.com.

October 6, 2010

Reporters

Ali Kitenplon

Contributing EDGE Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.