Thursday, July 17, 2003

Son's fraternity brings mom solace



By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Sunday, Yolanda Sullivan buried her only son, Michael Sullivan, a 19-year-old Miami Township man who died in a motorcycle accident on the Fourth of July weekend.

About 70 of her son's Sigma Chi fraternity brothers attended the services, and each dropped a white rose into Sullivan's coffin, a fraternity ceremony that inducts the spring pledge into "chapter eternal."

After the service, Ben Hines, president of the University of Cincinnati fraternity chapter, went up to Sullivan in the kitchen of her home. The fraternity brothers cooked at the reception and cleaned up after everyone.

"You've lost a son, and we've lost a brother," Hines told her. "But now you have hundreds of sons."

Then he told her the fraternity planned to start a scholarship in her son's name for new members.

For Sullivan, who lost her husband two years ago, it was more than a gesture. It solidified her pride in her son's fraternity, which Michael Sullivan told her was full of "men of faith."

Now she plans to have her company and her late husband's company join local Sigma Chi alumni in donating money to the Michael Gene Sullivan Scholarship Fund.

Sullivan, known to some as "Silky," the same nickname as his father, played football, baseball and track for Elder High School on Cincinnati's West Side for three years, starring as outside linebacker for the Elder football team that won the district championship.

But one of his mother's proudest accomplishments was his pledging the Sigma Chi fraternity, the same fraternity his father had joined.

"I can't even begin to tell you how much the boys at Sigma Chi have supported me through all this," Sullivan said.

"Every single one of these boys, when I talk with them, I see a piece of my son. I hear things my son would say."

Sullivan will be a member of the selection committee for the scholarship, and she wants to choose people who remind her of her son.

The fraternity plans to give six $500 scholarships next year.

To donate, send a check, made out to Sigma Chi, to:Michael Gene Sullivan Scholarship Fund, Attn: Ben Hines, 2617 University Court, Cincinnati, OH 45219

E-mail rforgrave@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
Lollapalooza bands still hit hard with fans
Saks' new look a return to retailer's roots
Wrights' descendants enjoy a famous legacy
West Nile discovered in Butler mosquitoes

IN THE TRISTATE
Finishing Convergys deal could take weeks
County inaugurates new radio system
City Art Museum helps to exhibit city of ancient Jordan
Decision to dismiss ex-cop's defamation lawsuit upheld
Picture of the day: Don't pop, please don't pop
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
PULFER: Teaching girls more than just a game
Some good news

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Closed elementary school up for sale
Indictments in rape, attempted murder cases
Butler site to drop Fox's report
Buses to roll back into Hamilton
Clermont County couple held in bank robbery case
Pierce trustee to seek General Assembly seat
Fairfield group to meet on flood woes
Mother of accused 13-year-old also charged in infant's death
Lakota projects red-ink budget, depletion by '06
Couple sue Mason, builder over flooding
Mason makes plans to spend tax-district $$
Ricketts' defender wants new trial venue
Son's fraternity brings mom solace
Symmes Twp. will take out residents' trash
Warren sees more aid-to-poor requests

OBITUARIES
Matt Dolan, 30, was family's 'comeback kid'

OHIO
Taft picks Jonathan Allison to serve as his chief of staff
Roller-coaster record at Cedar Point broken
Springer show a shock to senator
Ohio death row inmate clings to hope
Supplement seller grilled in court
26-year inmate may go free today
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Rep. Lucas raking it in for '04 race
Two indicted in murder, dorm arson
Patton agrees state employees can unionize
Covington schools' leader re-signed
Kentucky obituaries
Kentucky News Briefs