On Friday, November 19, the Tau Nu chapter of Phi Gamma Delta, also known as FIJI, at RPI and the Chi chapter at Union College held their first FIJI Puck Run together. The philanthropic event consisted of brothers from each institution running segments of a 20 mile relay from RPI’s Houston Field House to Union’s Messa Rink between 3:30 and 7:30 pm. While running 20 miles together is an accomplishment in and of itself, both chapters fundraised by asking local businesses to sponsor runners in order to raise money to donate to the United Service Organizations, one of Phi Gamma Delta’s official charities. The USO provides support for members of the American armed forces and their families. In all, over $2,400 in donations were raised.
Running, however, was not the only way that RPI and Union raised money for the event. The Union FIJI chapter designed and printed t-shirts for the event and sold them in the lobby of Messa rink for $10 a-piece to help raise more money for the event.
Most brothers who participated in the event ran a two mile segment of the course, which brought them across the Hudson River, through less populated parts of Troy, along the Mohawk River Bike Trail, and through parts of Schenectady. One brother of the RPI FIJI chapter, Tyler Gumina ’15, ran the entire 20 mile relay, raising money for each mile he ran. A member of the RPI cross country team, Gumina lead RPI FIJI brothers to the halfway point of the relay on the Mohawk Bike Trail and continued running with the Union College FIJI brothers. He helped set a pace that would ensure the puck made it to Union College in time for the RPI/Union hockey game.
The RPI/Union FIJI Puck Run is an event that both chapters have been trying to establish for multiple years, but this is the first year that it has been successfully executed. Planning for the Puck Run began in the summer and continued throughout the fall semester up until the night before the event. Needless to say, both the chapter at RPI and the chapter at Union College were enthusiastic about the success of the Puck Run. After a long four hours, FIJI brothers from both chapters triumphantly dropped the puck on the ice at the start of the game.
Having arrived at Union College on time with the puck in tow, both the RPI and Union chapters are excited about their success, and hope to make the RPI/Union FIJI Puck Run an annual philanthropic event. In future Puck Run events, they plan to reach out to a greater number of student organizations and campus populations for fundraising and for raising awareness for the event.