Remembering Samantha Spady: Friends Raising Funds For Memorial Bench On CSU Campus

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) — Fifteen years after 19-year-old Samantha “Sam” Spady died as a result of alcohol poisoning, Colorado State University is inching closer to creating a memorial in her honor. Friends of Spady say they are raising funds for a memorial bench which will one day be placed on the CSU campus in Fort Collins.

Samantha Spady (credit: CBS)

“Time is a thief. You blink, and 15 years have gone by,” said Molly Zamucen, a friend of Spady’s from college.

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Zamucen met Spady during their freshman year on campus in 2004. The both rushed the Chi Omega sorority just west of campus.

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She was one of my best friends,” Zamucen told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.

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On Sept. 5, 2004, Spady was celebrating the Rocky Mountain Showdown, the iconic football rivalry between the University of Colorado and Colorado State.

“For many students it was a long day of partying,” Zamucen said.

Investigators say Spady consumed between 30 and 40 drinks in less than 11 hours while partying with students and fraternity life members. She was no longer a member of Chi Omega, but continued to socialize in the fraternity circles.

“In college the goal is to get drunk. So, that includes shots, and drinking straight from bottles,” Zamucen said.

Zamucen said she saw Spady one final time before separating. Spady went to a fraternity party at the Sigma Pi house across the street from Chi Omega.

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“Many of us were trying to text her or call her with no response,” Zamucen recalled.

Fraternity members said Spady was having difficulty standing. They believed she needed rest, and placed her in an unused bedroom. She was found dead, a result of alcohol poisoning, the following day.

“There was a stigma attached to her death, that she did it to herself, she shouldn’t have been partying, she shouldn’t have been drinking. She wasn’t even of age,” Zamucen said.

Fifteen years after her death, Zamucen said CSU still hasn’t properly honored Spady’s life in the long term.

“We said, ‘We have to do something,’” Zamucen said.

With the Spady family’s blessing, Zamucen started a fundraiser for her late friend. Zamucen said CSU supported creating a memorial bench, and said it would cost $5,000 to cover the memorial.

“It’s our goal to make her proud, and keep her memory alive,” Zamucen said with tears in her eyes.

Reflecting on the past 15 years, Zamucen said the bench was just one way the community could remember Spady, while assuring students of the future do as well.

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“Her smile is proof of the light that she was to a room. And, it is motivation to remember,” Zamucen said.

Zamucen said the original idea was to also include educational tips on the bench, discussing how to identify symptoms of alcohol poisoning. However, CSU requested that the bench be solely kept as a memorial to Spady.

CSU did not respond to CBS4’s request for comment on the memorial bench.

Zamucen said CSU expresses interest in handing out cards to students that talked about that instead.

Donate to the fundraiser here: