On Friday, October 31, the Tau Nu chapter of Phi Gamma Delta at RPI and the Chi chapter at Union College held their second annual FIJI Puck Run together. The game hockey puck used for the ceremonial puck drop before the RPI-Union rivalry faceoff at this year’s Black Friday game was carried for a 20.6 mile run from the Union College Messa Rink to the RPI Houston Field House by the brothers of both chapters, with brothers passing off the puck every few miles. Beginning its journey at approximately 3 pm, the puck successfully traversed its route, primarily following the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail, arriving at the Field House at 6:45 pm, just in time for puck drop. Just as last year, this philanthropic event was to benefit the United Service Organizations, one of Phi Gamma Delta’s official charities. The USO provides support for members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. Money was raised through local business sponsors, individual donations, and by selling shirts designed by a brother of the Union College FIJI chapter.
This event is one of the brothers’ favorite philanthropic events for a number of reasons. It allows two chapters, at rival schools no less, to partner up—an interaction that does not happen often, but is highly valued by both chapters. In addition, it brings in a number of challenges for the brothers to face, between the physical demand of running the 20.6 mile course, to the countless hours of planning, logistics, and communications it takes to make such an event successful. As an added bonus, the Tau Nu chapter took this as an opportunity to acquaint themselves with a number of their new neighbors. The chapter recently purchased, renovated, and moved into their own chapter house in downtown Troy, and sought out a number of the local businesses within walking distance. Bomber’s Burrito Bar, Pfeil Hardware, Troy Quick Shoe Repair, Cafe Deli-icious, Romanation Jewelers, JK Bloom Jewelers LLC, and Infinity Cafe all supported the brothers with their cause, in addition to a number of other shops that donated gift cards for the brothers to sell alongside their shirts. The brothers also had the shirts printed locally in downtown Troy.
After almost four hours of running, the puck was taken into the Houston Field House for the puck drop. As the brothers continued to work to raise money for the USO by selling their shirts, the RPI Engineers worked to take home a 6-1 victory over Union!
Last year, the two FIJI chapters raised $2,400 for the USO running the puck from RPI to Union for a Union home game. While the brothers are still selling the remaining shirts and the total is still being counted for this year, the brothers had over $600 from sponsors, and their online donation page has currently raised $756. The page is being left open for an additional week, and can be found at http://gofundme.com/FIJIrun for anyone interested in supporting the USO.
Both the Tau Nu and Chi chapters are very excited about their success, and are already looking forward to next year’s games, where they not only hope to run the puck yet again, but to improve on this philanthropic event.