On Feb. 13, the Psi Septaton Chapter of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity held a candlelight vigil in memory of their brother, Jackson Bebiak, where friends, family and members of the community came to honor his life and to support each other in mourning.
Bebiak was a freshman management major at VSU.
While traveling with the fraternity to Orange Beach, Alabama, his car collided with a tractor-trailer, and Bebiak died on Feb. 10.
The vigil was held in Converse Square at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 13. Candles were provided for participants in memory of Jackson. Guests were encouraged to speak and honor him, and they shared stories of his life and times at VSU.
“Jackson had the most caring heart,” Sydney McGee, Bebiak’s girlfriend, said. “He was always taking care of others before himself. He would always tell me the dumbest dad jokes, and he’d always laugh at them when I wouldn’t. … Everything I do from here on out is for him.”
Jackson’s parents were present for the vigil, as well as his siblings. Among them was Chase Bebiak, his twin brother. His fraternity brothers also showed up to speak and share memories of him and his time in the fraternity.
“The Jackson that we all know and love was at those Thirsty Thursdays, those Phidays,” Chase Bebiak said. “I want y’all to remember that Jackson because that is the real Jackson.”
Members of Phi Sigma Kappa shared their memories of Bebiak and his time in the fraternity.
“I looked up to him a lot. I really appreciated how kind he was to everybody, I’ve never seen Jackson do anybody wrong.” David “Dinky” Chesney, a freshman and fraternity brother, said.
“He was one of the most caring and charming people I knew.” Daniel Armentrout, a junior management major and Jackson’s “big brother” in the fraternity, said. “He always had a smile bright enough to light up a room on his face and would do anything for the people closest to him.”
Throughout the vigil and after, friends and family have given an outpouring of love and mourning through social media. On Instagram, the hashtag “#livelife4jackson” has circulated with pictures of Bebiak in memorial. The hashtag serves as a reminder to live life, especially since it is unpredictable and too often cut short.
“You never failed to pick me up when I was down or put a smile on my face. … You are forever in our hearts, we’re doing this for you.” Saydee Najarro, a friend of Bebiak’s, captioned an Instagram post under the hashtag.
The Psi Septaton Chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa and the Bebiak family are hosting a fundraiser through GoFundMe under the same hashtag for The Tears Foundation, a charity that seeks to help grieving families pay for burials or cremations of their loved ones.
The fundraiser met their goal within a few days, thanks to the generosity of the community. The current goal of $25,000 has been surpassed and has not been updated.
If anyone is interested in donating, the Phi Sigma Kappa’s Instagram has a link to Jackson’s Fundraiser in their bio.
Written by Bailey Wilson, Assistant Campus Life Editor. Photo by Bailey Storey, Photo Editor.