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While competitors on the ice, Betas from the Gamma Omicron Chapter at British Columbia teamed up with Phi Delta Theta’s brothers to defeat stigmas around mental health.

“To me, Drop The Puck allows us to participate in the perfect balance of charity and competition,” said Chapter President Bradley Cooper ’23. “Having such a strong rivalry in this game fuels all of us to put our best effort in through fundraising.”

The two chapters did just that in their fifth Drop the Puck Challenge on January 21, 2023, raising more than $35,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

“It truly blows me away that a group of university students can raise so much money for mental health to have a profound impact on our community,” said Brother Jake Sawatzky ’23, philanthropy chairman and member of the Drop the Puck planning committee.

Drop the Puck has become an annual tradition between the two fraternities. UBC Beta Theta Pi and Phi Delta Theta members first joined forces to create the event in 2018, and since have directly impacted the local community by giving $134,601 to the Vancouver-Fraser branch of the CMHA.

In the past, donations have gone on to fund Vancouver-Fraser programs like Urban Resilience Opportunities for Kids (UROK). This program specifically aims to instill confidence children and teenagers, and connect them with others going through similar experiences. In 2022, Drop the Puck gifted $50,000 to UROK.

“Raising awareness for mental health is so important,” said President Cooper. “I have seen brothers of mine struggle with their own mental health through the trauma they experienced as a child. Drop the Puck allows us to support children at the source of this so they can live a normal childhood.”

In addition to the main event at the UBC Thunderbird Arena, the entire campus came together to celebrate the fundraising efforts. A collaboration between the Gamma Omicron Chapter and five of UBC’s biggest event organizations—AMS Events, Kumo, the Calendar, Plug Vancouver and Generocksity—collaborated to create the Drop the Puck Afterparty. Taking place at Pit Pub, the sole student nightclub on campus, the event contributed $4,000 toward the cause.

The entire event also aimed to increase awareness of mental health resources locally available. Avicenna Centre for Brain Health, a mental health clinic co-founded by Brother Arhum Rana ’23, was the title sponsor of the 2022 Drop the Puck Challenge.

“The Avicenna team is passionate about providing mental health support for those who need it and creating a public dialogue to reduce the stigma around mental health,” Brother Rana said. “We at Avicenna could not be more honored to be the presenting sponsor of this amazing cause.”

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