Cox's Contributions Lead to Hockey Humanitarian Honor
by Joe Meloni/CHN Reporter
DETROIT Colgate senior forward Ethan Cox received the 15th-annual Hockey Humanitarian Award Friday night during the Frozen Four weekend at Ford Field. Cox won the award from a pool of seven finalists from both men's and women's Division I and III hockey.
In his four years at Colgate, Cox has raised more $40,000 for various charities in the Hamilton, N.Y., area. The school credits the center from Richmond, British Columbia, with improving the school's relationship with the community and students' awareness of charitable events on the campus.
In his speech, Cox thanked his parents who attended the event for teaching him the value of community involvement. His family impacted his decision to start a program charged with raising money for the American Cancer Society. Faceoff Against Cancer is a program that solicits pledges from the area around Colgate and members of the Colgate community to donate funds to the ACS for every faceoff Colgate wins in a game.
"I have family members in the past that passed away from cancer, so I started a program called Faceoff for Cancer," Cox said. "It's a pledge drive where organizations in the community or even family members of players or any Colgate fan can pledge to donate an amount of money for every faceoff we win in a game. That one was one that hit close to home for me. It's been a very dominant issue in my life, so, when I can put an event on like that gets everyone involved and is a little more creative to get other businesses involved, it's very special to me."
Raising interest from businesses and alumni of the college was not as great a challenge as fostering interest from the student body. The apathy of college students — and lack of money — makes them infrequent donors, but the persistence of Cox and the Colgate hockey family helped bring students out to support events in several ways.
In 2007-08, his outreach efforts to the community helped raise $25,000 alone for the American Cancer Society.
Arriving at Colgate in 2006 for his freshman year, Cox spent time in the community surrounding Hamilton and found that an effort to bridge the gap between the college and the community was needed. Using charity to reach out helped the students at the university understand their responsibility to the area that houses them while they attend college.
"The biggest thing in terms of recognition from the award is spreading the world about the ability to get out in the community. It doesn't really matter what capacity it's in; the importance of the award is understanding the need to take the initiative and get involved," Cox said. "That's the biggest thing to me. If I can help promote that ideal, then that's the biggest thing that I take away from this award."
Cox credits former Colgate hockey information director Michele Kelley with helping him begin his charitable work in the area. Discussing potential events with her allowed him to understand the best possibilities to draw students to the events and raise the most money.
I realized very shortly after arriving at Colgate; in terms of setting up events, a lot of it was Michele Kelley, our communications person, and talking to the athletic administration to see what we could do to fund raise for some events. Being on the hockey team made it easier because we can set [fundraising] up around games and other events at the rink. So that's really how it all got started."
The six other finalists were Kirsten Dier of Amherst, Dion Knelson of Alaska, Sam Kuzyk of Adrian, Zachary Miller of Williams, Brigid O'Gorman of Connecticut College and Brandon Vossberg of Denver.