COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets Alumni Association announced today that its kick-off event will be a benefit hockey game in the OhioHealth Ice Haus on Friday, November 28 at 3 p.m. to support “Do It For Daron,” a non-profit organization created by former Blue Jackets captain Luke Richardson and his wife, Stephanie. Four years ago, the Richardsons founded Do It For Daron (DIFD), which is dedicated to raising awareness, inspiring conversations and transforming youth mental health, following the suicide of their teenage daughter, Daron.
Jody Shelley, who is organizing the club’s alumni association, will be joined by former Jackets Andrew Cassels, Chris Clark, Brett Harkins, Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, Fredrik Modin and Martin Spanhel as they face off against a group of Daron’s former Dublin-area teammates. Daron’s former teammates played in an inaugural DIFD game last year to honor her memory and encourage young people to talk openly about mental illness and to ask for help when needed.
“On behalf of the Blue Jackets alumni, we want to do whatever we can to bring awareness to this issue,” said Shelley. “Our connection to Luke and Stephanie makes this very personal to us and we’re proud to make mental health awareness the signature cause of our alumni association. We want to share the message that it is okay to talk and that there are plenty of people who want to listen.”
Admission to the DIFD game at the OhioHealth Ice Haus is a donation at the door. There will also be a silent auction featuring hockey memorabilia and experiences including a post-game meet & greet with current Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno. Fans interested in further supporting the cause may purchase a $200 VIP package that includes entry to a post-DIFD game reception with Blue Jackets alumni in the Founders Club at Nationwide Arena and a lower bowl ticket to the Blue Jackets game that night. The reception begins at 5 p.m. and includes food and beverage. To order, visit www.BlueJackets.com/HockeyTalks.
Fans attending the Blue Jackets-Canucks game will have the opportunity to bid on signed jerseys that were worn by the CBJ Alumni during the DIFD game with proceeds benefitting Do It For Daron and local mental health initiatives. In addition, several in-game messages will take place throughout the evening to raise awareness about the cause.
The Blue Jackets return to action tonight when they host the Detroit Red Wings. Game time from Nationwide Arena is 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio begins with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. The game will also be broadcast live on the Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network, including CD102.5 FM, and online at BlueJackets.com.
About Do It For Daron
On November 13, 2010, 14-year-old Daron Richardson died by suicide. From this tragedy came a movement to transform youth mental health. Spearheaded by Daron’s parents Luke and Stephanie Richardson, who decided to transform their very private pain into a public call-to-action, a decision was made to support young people who suffer in silence from the pain and stigma of mental illness. Supported by the energy and efforts of dozens of Daron’s close friends and classmates, a grassroots movement was formed with the mission of creating awareness, inspiring conversations, and transforming youth mental health. For more information, visit www.difd.com.