@CanucksMOTB: How you can join CanucksArmy in supporting Mindcheck.ca

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We at Canucks Army love hockey, and we love our community – both our on-line community, and our local community in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. 

In addition to our love of the sport, and of watching it played at the highest level by Vancouver-based professional athletes, we’re passionate about mental health issues. We come by this passion honestly, based both on our experience as hockey fans, as Canucks fans, and our experience in life.

Tomorrow when the Vancouver Canucks open the 2015-16 regular season against the hated Calgary Flames, we’re going to be hosting a social media based pledge drive called “Canucks Money on the Board” aimed at upping our enjoyment of the season opener, and at raising money and awareness for Mindcheck.ca – a Canucks sponsored charitable endeavour that focuses on educating and helping adolescents cope with mental health issues. 

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We want you to join in on the fun and help us raise money for a very important cause. Here’s how you can participate.

Money on the Board

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Admittedly this idea isn’t very original and it isn’t ours. As far as we can tell this pledge drive model was started by Columbus Blue Jackets fans, and was perfected by Ottawa Senators fans, led by legendary hockey tweeter @BonksMullet. 

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In the summer we approached @BonksMullet about bringing the concept to the Nation Network and he was happy to let us have it, he’s even consulting on this project.

The campaign takes its name from the old hockey practice of putting ‘money on the board’, which occurred usually when a player or coach (at least until the NHL decided it was a salary cap violation) was facing his old team and wanted to give his charges or teammates a little bit of extra incentive to win. That player or coach would put “money on the board” and that money would go to whomever scored the winning goal.

We’ve appropriated the concept, but we’ve also expanded it. What we’re asking you to do is to make a pledge that’s tied to a likely in-game event on Wednesday night, and then follow through by donating the appropriate amount to Mindcheck.ca

So for example, CanucksArmy.com has a well-known love of prospects and advanced stats and so the blog has decided that we’ll pledge $3 for every Corsi Event for and against that any Canucks prospect – be it Jake Virtanen, Ben Hutton, of Jared McCann – is on the ice for at 5-on-5. 

As for me personally, I’m going to donate $1 for every percentage of Corsi that the Canucks control with Henrik Sedin on the ice (against the Flames that should be about 75%, or $75 dollars).

You don’t have to focus in on one player, though, you can do a team level pledge. In fact, the pledges are completely customizable! You can play around with the Google Pledge form we’ve put together here

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Make a pledge and then let us know about it on Twitter by tweeting at the @CanucksMOTB account. Share your pledge with friends and encourage them to join in!

After the game we’ll compile all of the pledges we’ve received in a spreadsheet (we’re good at that) and send you an e-mail with a link directing you to make the donation directly to mindcheck.ca. So no money will ever cross our hands. This is just about having fun, raising money for a good cause, and talking trash to Flames fans during a hockey game.

PUT YOUR MONEY ON THE BOARD! CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE!

Prizes

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Not only do you get to talk smack and root harder for your favourite Canucks player on Wednesday if you participate, but you’ll also have a chance to win cool prizes. We’re going to give away 10 Nations Gear t-shirts to Money on the Board participants whose pledges result in a donation in excess of $15. 

If you’d like to be entered into the draw, just select “yes” on the google form and include your t-shirt size and mailing address. 

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So the Money on the Board drive will allow you to have fun, support a good cause, and look fly! There’s really no downside…

MAKE YOUR PLEDGE HERE!

Personal Note

When I was in high school one of my best friends began to struggle with mental illness. He died before he was diagnosed, but it was very probably early onset schizophrenia. 

We grew apart in our last year of high school, partly because his behaviour became erratic, and partly because I lacked the education, tools, maturity and compassion to know how to behave towards him. I simply didn’t know how to help.

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A week before he took his own life, I was home from University for the summer, and I received an e-mail. It was sent en masse to a group of about 20 high school pals, most of whom remain friends (or at least friendly acquaintances) to this day. He received one response.

I remember discussing it with my friends at the time, and we were just frightened by what had happened. We didn’t know how to handle it or what to do, and I remember making a communal decision to leave it be. We didn’t reach out. We didn’t offer help. We didn’t know what was going on, or what to do, and we were 19 and totally terrified and our of our depth. To compound the issue, we didn’t know anything about mental health issues or how to identify them or how to help.

A week later my friend Jamie took his own life. He died not knowing how much we all loved him.

Mindcheck.ca is a charity that the Canucks set up in memory of the great Rick Rypien. It’s geared toward youth and aimed at educating and providing youth with early support for mental health issues – whether it’s body image issues, substance abuse issues, depression, anxiety, whatever. 

From information to self-care resources to linking youth with support services, Mindcheck.ca is precisely the sort of program that I’m convinced may have helped Jamie. It’s precisely the sort of program that may have helped myself and my peers better understand how to help our struggling friend…

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These issues are near and dear to my heart. And I know they’re near and dear to the hearts of Canucks players and Canucks fans too. So for us at CanucksArmy.com supporting mindcheck.ca is a natural fit, and we hope you’ll join us on by making a Money on the Board pledge, and tweeting about it, and helping to get the word out on Wednesday night. Let’s make this fun, and let’s make this successful! 

MAKE YOUR PLEDGE NOW!

How you can help

Here’s how you can help. Click on this google form and pick your pledge. Think up something funny and personal and likely to occur. Then tweet about it to @CanucksMOTB and to all of your friends on Twitter. Share it on facebook. Post your pledge to Reddit. Help us get the message out!

Then on Wednesday night, track the game, and cheer hard for the Canucks and for your particular pledge to come through, and encourage others to join in! 

Then when you get the e-mail from us on Thursday linking you to the mindcheck.ca donation page, actually donate the amount you pledged. And then maybe we’ll mail you a t-shirt. Either way we’ll send you good vibes and our gratitude. 

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We’re hopeful that this will be a fun way to kick off a new season. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate the support and readership we receive from the CanucksArmy community, and we’re hopeful that with the Canucks Money on the Board pledge drive, we can begin to give back to a community that has given us so much.

JOIN US IN SUPPORTING MINDCHECK.CA! MAKE YOUR PLEDGE NOW!