Rick Spady can’t sleep very well at night anymore.
His anxious thoughts linger over his 20-year-old son at college in Lincoln, Neb., and his 19-year-old daughter, Samantha Spady, who died on Sept. 5.
Samantha was a sophomore business major at CSU. She died from acute alcohol poisoning during the early morning hours on Sept. 5.
“Sam made a mistake,” Rick said.
On the night of Sept. 4, Samantha partied with friends in Fort Collins, ending up at the Sigma Pi fraternity house, 709 Wagner Drive, at about 2 a.m on Sept. 5. Her body was found on Sept. 5 a little after 6 p.m. Her blood-alcohol level was .436, more than five times the legal limit.
“When I first heard of her death, I did not know the circumstances involved,” said Patty Spady, Samantha’s mother. “The fact of the matter was that our child was dead.”
Since Samantha’s death, her family, friends and the Greek community have banded together to promote alcohol education and awareness.
The SAM Spady Foundation was created to honor Samantha’s death and create peer-to-peer alcohol awareness programs at universities around the country.
SAM stands for Student Alcohol Management. The Greek community at CSU originally drafted the concept.
They are in the planning stages of creating the SAM Initiative, a program to help CSU students identify signs that someone may have an alcohol problem.
“It’s apparent that there is a problem with drinking on most college campuses,” said Maura Ryan, CSU Panhellenic Council president. “One way of honoring (Samantha’s) memory would just be to never let what happened to her happen to anyone else.”
The SAM Spady Foundation will provide money for the research and implementation of similar alcohol-awareness programs nationwide.
“We just felt that there was an absolute need so no other family has to experience this,” Patty said. “We hope to get a message out, not only at CSU, but all over the country.”
The foundation will sell Samantha’s artwork to raise funding for the research.
“Sam had expressed a great interest in getting back into her drawings,” Patty said. “I was just always so proud of the accomplishments she had in her short time here on Earth.”
Nearly 1,000 people, many of them CSU students, attended Samantha’s memorial service on Sept. 10 in Beatrice, Neb.
“It was a real pleasure to get to know (Samantha’s friends). Unfortunately it was under these circumstances,” Patty said. “Obviously Sam had touched their lives in a certain way. It meant a lot that they took the time.”
Send donations to:
SAM Spady Foundation
PO Box 701
Beatrice, NE 68310