One year ago yesterday, on November 12, 2010, the hockey world and that of the Ottawa Senators was rocked by the news that Daron Richardson, daughter of Ottawa Senators assistant coach and former player Luke Richardson, had taken her own life. The outgoing, likeable 14 year old’s death came as a complete shock to family and friends and created an outpouring of support and love from the entire community.
Daron’s family and friends, in cooperation with The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health created the “Do It For Daron” program, supporting and initiatives to promote awareness for youth mental health issues. To date, through the hard work and dedication of Daron’s friends and family, the “D.I.F.D” program has raised over $1 Million through donations and fundraising.
Tonight, the CBC program Battle of The Blades is down to the final 3 pairings. Tonight, the finalists will skate their last program of the season and then viewer votes will determine who will win the competition.
Why are the two seemingly separate items related?
Former NHL player (and Senators draft pick) Bryan Berard and his partner, Canadian Olympian Marie-France Dubreuil are skating for D.I.F.D, and if they win the competition, they have chosen this program to be the recipient of the $100,000 charitable donation prize.
Bryan and Marie-France sent out a letter to supporters earlier this week urging everyone to support their skate the Sunday night and to vote, so that they can win the competition and donate the $100,000 prize to this great Ottawa based and Senators related cause. Here is the letter they sent out, with details on how you can help.
We made it to the finals and we need your votes!
The Battle of the Blades winners will be 100% determined by YOUR votes. Judges’ votes don’t count this week!
This is our final chance to win $100,000 for D.I.F.D. What a difference it will make to youth mental health and suicide awareness.
Tune in Sunday, November 13th at 8pm to see our skate that is dedicated to D.I.F.D.
Vote before the show (phones open at 7pm), during the show and after the show (until 2am). Please ask your friends to vote.
We are so proud to be skating for D.I.F.D. We chose D.I.F.D because Bryan learned that Luke Richardson’s daughter Daron had died by suicide. This hit Bryan really hard because his youngest brother tried to take his life when he was 19. All of us at BOTB were saddened by the loss of Wade Belak at the beginning of the season.
How to vote (between 7pm-2am)
1. Phone – 1-877-844-8155
Phone voting is free and unlimited so keep calling.
Don’t give up if you get a busy signal. It is easiest to get through between 7pm-8pm and after 9:30pm
2. Web – apps.facebook.com/battleoftheblades
You can vote once every minute.
D.I.F.D. is a youth-driven program focused on raising awareness and inspiring conversations about youth mental health. Created by friends and family of Daron Richardson who lost her life to suicide at the young age of 14, D.I.F.D. is inspired by hope for a future where young people will reach out for help without fear or shame.
For more info visit www.doitfordaron.com
We hope we can count on YOUR VOTES Sunday. Please share with friends & colleagues near and far.
Bryan and Marie-France
Former NHL Player and Canadian Ice Dance Champion
Also, in case you missed it, Christine Simpson of Rogers Sportsnet did a very touching feature on D.I.F.D. during yesterday’s Hockey Central Saturday preveiw show, featuring Luke and his wife:
So remember to vote early and vote often so that this fantastic program can receive the donation that will go to support such a great and important cause. I am sure each and every one of us has been affected at some point in their lift by someone close to them being affected by Mental Health issues.
For more information on D.I.F.D. and how you can help, please visit http://www.doitfordaron.com/