Juniors Bryce Liston and John Hillman wanted to find a way to give back to the hospital. Hillman’s niece, Eloise, was a patient there. Eloise died from a tumor after her first birthday.
The care Eloise received at Cook Children’s motivated Hillman and Liston to create Springfest.
“Eloise was born alongside her twin sister with some complications from the beginning,” said Hillman, a political science major. “Even though Eloise had struggled with every aspect of her short life, she always tried to smile which taught us to cherish and celebrate every day.”
“We hope this becomes the biggest event Cook’s has ever seen,” Hillman said. “But I told Bryce from the beginning that even if we only raise one dollar, it’s a dollar that Cook’s didn’t have when we started.”
Liston said he and Hillman chose Camp Summit specifically because of its outdoor activities, such as horseback riding, fishing and kayaking, that give patients a break from the hospital.
“We wanted to help kids who were in the hospital and couldn’t do things that normal kids could do, like us, to get out and have fun,” said Liston, an entrepreneurial management major.
A committee of 17 students from various campus organizations have been working on Springfest for more than a year.
“So much hard work and dedication have gone into making this event happen,” said Devyn Dillenberg, Springfest’s vice president of promotion.
Several Greek organizations, campus groups and Fort Worth companies are sponsoring the event. Liston said his experience as treasurer for Lambda Chi Alpha made him realize how much of the fraternity’s money could be used to help an outside cause.
“Semester after semester, we were having like two to three mixers, and it was so much money going towards the same thing with no positive benefit,” Liston said. “[Springfest] involves a lot more than just a normal mixer, and then there’s that positive side to it.”
Liston said the goal is to raise $100,000 and provide an opportunity for both students and members of the Fort Worth community to bond.
“I feel like there’s that divide at TCU where it’s Greek and non-Greek, and we want to mix that up and just make a community event that’s fun for everyone,” Liston said.
The event will also feature an array of food trucks and vendors, such as Gorgonzilla, Salsa Limon and Kona Ice. The food vendors will also donate 15 percent of their profits to Cook Children’s.
Springfest will be on April 16 from 6-10 p.m. in Frog Alley. Gates open at 5 p.m.
Tickets are $22 and can be bought online.
“These kids are some of the most brave kids I have ever seen,” said Hillman, “They deserve every second that has gone into this process and hopefully we can help make their life’s a little bit better.”
Shelby Arnold contributed to this report.