Keep On Keepin' On
A note from the Chillemi family:
In a world where brokenness and darkness can have a way of overpowering the goodness and light, our family has found ourselves called to share our own story of walking through tragedy and heartache as a testament to finding hope in the midst of loss.
Our hearts are heavy and vulnerable as we share with you that through our own personal tragedy, we have a conviction to spread awareness about substance abuse and help others as they fight their own battle with this epidemic in hopes that hearts and minds can be altered and lives saved.
A brother, son, friend — TC Chillemi was someone who made a lasting impression. Everything about him was BIG — his smile, his personality, his passion and his heart for others, to name a few. He was someone who lived larger than life. TC was your typical university student at Arizona State living life to the fullest with lofty dreams and aspirations for his future. He was someone who would always look for the silver lining in every circumstance and would remind all of us to, "Keep on Keepin' on." Even to those closest to him, TC appeared to have it all together, but the heartbreaking truth was that he was fighting a deep, dark, consuming battle within himself that no one knew anything about.
Tragically, in late May of 2011 at the ripe age of 24 — TC lost his life to this internal battle. The sting of this unexpected loss left the Chillemi family with a void that was incomprehensible — they had a choice to either cling to the heartache from their loss, or to begin to share their loved one's story in hopes that it might make an impact on others who are also battling in the fight against substance abuse.
Although the heart behind this cause is to raise awareness specifically for students and young adults fighting this addiction, the Chillemi family hopes to raise overall awareness about the prevalence of substance abuse and serve as a support system by reminding those in the battle that there is a way to overcome addiction.
In June of 2011, the Chillemi family formed the TC-ASU Fund in partnership with the ASU Foundation at Arizona State University. The purpose of this partnership is to fund the treatment and prevention of substance abuse in honor of TC's life.
The heart behind our existence is to influence lives and deter teens, university students and young adults from turning to substance abuse as a coping mechanism.
$387,000* has been raised for the Counseling Endowment in the name of TC Chillemi Fund at Arizona State University to date, and because of the generosity of its donors, this fund has been able to aid hundreds of students in their battle against substance abuse.
$26,810* has successfully been raised for the Student Scholarship Endowment Program offered through the TC Chillemi Fund.
(*As of 3/1/2019)
What We've Achieved
Through the TC ASU Fund, the office of ASU Counseling and Health Services has provided programs to support successful, safe, and healthy students. Of significant importance are two initiatives the endowment sponsors each year:
A Word of Caring - Each year, Bob Chillemi shares TC's story at a reception where all members of ASU Greek Life are invited to attend. Through his testimony, students learn the critical significance of taking care of one another and that creating a caring community is key to helping reduce substance abuse.
Red Watch Band Training - This program provides training to equip students with the knowledge, awareness and skills to prevent alcohol poisoning and promote a culture of kindness, responsibility, compassion, and respect. The program is a combination of CPR, life-saving, and knowing the signs of alcohol poisoning.