UGA Greeks unite in fight against suicide

Ethan Wright Sep 17, 2023

The University of Georgia Greek community gathered on Friday night at The Classic Center’s Atkins Ford Arena, where over 1,700 attendees assembled for the “Fight Against Suicide” boxing event. Organized by UGA’s Sigma Chi Greek Community in partnership with the Samuel L. Asbury Foundation, the event aimed to promote mental health awareness and support the foundation which honors a friend, son and brother who tragically lost his life to suicide.

The crowd, dressed in suits, tuxedos and the occasional cowboy hat, filled the arena as the clock neared 8 p.m. Boxers, their family members and the fraternity and sorority brothers and sisters anxiously awaited the three, two-minute rounds that would define the night.

The evening began with a prayer, followed by a heartfelt national anthem sung by Grace Asbury.

David Edmiston, one of the event’s organizers, took the stage to emphasize that the event’s primary goal was to address the gap in men’s mental health awareness.

“There was an empty space when it came to men’s mental health,” Edmiston said, reflecting on personal experiences. “This is the moment we wanted to start filling that void. It’s more about this crowd here than any amount of money.”

The main event featured 26 fighters representing various UGA fraternities, with 13 of them representing the Sigma Chi fraternity. Each match consisted of three intense two-minute rounds, making for an evening filled with adrenaline-pumping action.

Doug Thurmond, the father of one of the first boxers to step into the ring, expressed pride in his son’s willingness to participate for such a vital cause. “He’s won four times, placed in state wrestling but I didn’t know how he’d boxing, but he’s pretty tough,” Thurmond said.

The night also featured a raffle, T-shirt sales and a VIP section with a bar, all contributing to the funds raised for mental health support.

As the bouts progressed, the crowd’s cheers filled the arena. For many, “Fight Against Suicide” was more than just a boxing match — it was a movement of unity, hope and the unwavering belief that together, they could tackle the silent epidemic of depression and anxiety that plagues society.

As the night concluded, it was clear that the echoes of this event would resonate beyond the arena walls, inspiring others to join the movement against suicide and mental health stigmatization. The UGA Greek community has taken a firm stance, and their message is clear: “It is ok to say you are not ok.”