Inaugural Grant Benefits The Jason Foundation, Inc.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –
The Team Tootoo Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee announces its inaugural grant to support suicide prevention, an issue that many in our community, including Jordin Tootoo
, know well. The $3,000 grant will support The Jason Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of youth suicide through awareness and education.
“It’s been 10 years since my brother, Terence, passed away from suicide, and I want to do all I can to help educate kids there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Jordin Tootoo
, a National Hockey League player for the Nashville Predators. “It’s essential we get in front of kids about suicide prevention and let them know there are people who care.”
Tootoo, the first Inuit to play in the NHL, originally hails from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada - a country where suicide is among the 10 leading causes of death. According to Health Canada, Inuit suicide rates are more than 11 times higher than the national average, and 83 percent of these are people under 30 years of age.
“We’re very grateful to Jordin Tootoo
for bringing a voice to this silent epidemic,” said Clark Flatt, president of The Jason Foundation, Inc. “We need to teach people how to look out for friends, neighbors and students. We need to know warnings signs when we see or hear them."
Tootoo joined the Nashville Predators in 2003 and quickly adopted the Middle Tennessee community as his home. Tootoo established the Team Tootoo Fund at The Community Foundation with the goal of engaging fans and the community, and supporting causes important to him. Among the wide range of charitable issues the Team Tootoo Fund will help support are nonprofits addressing suicide awareness and prevention, as well as nonprofits supporting children and teens in need.
Tootoo’s charitable contributions include volunteering at Salvation Army toy drives and donating equipment to youth hockey leagues. Recently, as part of the National Hockey League Players' Association Goals & Dreams program, Tootoo gave 32 sets of new hockey equipment to the Hall Beach Girls Hockey Association, located in a remote community in northern Canada.
More information about the Team Tootoo Fund is online, at www.cfmt.org/teamtootoofund