College fraternity hosts 15th annual Battle of the Buffalo chicken wings festival in Huntsville

By Demetrius Hurry Apr 14, 2024

Cancer is a disease that has affected many at one time or another. A local college fraternity said they were significantly impacted when one of their brothers, Paul “Fish” Salmon, died of leukemia in 2007. The fraternity Alpha Tau Omega of the University of Alabama in Huntsville started the Battle of the Buffalo Festival in 2009 to raise money for cancer.

The 15th annual Battle of the Buffalo fundraiser saw attendees munch on wings and make donations at Big Spring Park.

Paul’s father, Michael Salmon, shared memories of his son he lost too soon.

“He was a great kid. Absolutely fun loving,” Michael Salmon said.

Michael Salmon said doctors gave Paul a bone transplant to save his life.

“It came down my side of the family so he ended up, you know, passing away because there’s nothing they could do,” Michael Salmon said.

Paul’s death hit his family, friends, and fraternity hard. Cadis Ammons said coming up with the name for the fundraiser was easy.

“His favorite food is chicken wings, so we only enjoy and chomp on the food that everybody likes. It’s just great to represent Paul to this day,” said Ammons.

For those who are living with the disease right now, Paul’s father says to always have faith that things will get better.

“There are many cases where people can be cured. It just happened to be one to have that bad marker. No match in the word, and I guess God wanted him home,” Michael Salmon said.

Organizers said the annual event has raised more than $245,000 since it started. Next year’s event will be the second week of April.