Tanski Brings Mental Health Awareness Efforts To StingraysApr 5, 2017
Seven professional seasons, four teams, and a positive attitude veiled beneath a hockey helmet and fiery red hair. To ECHL veteran Scott Tanski, hockey is more than just a game. It's a platform for dialogue concerning a topic that is often overlooked in our society: mental illness.
The right winger started the “Tanski Talks” initiative in support of mental health awareness in today’s youth. The motto: Open minds, eyes, and doors for youth through communication.
He has brought his passion to the South Carolina Stingrays this season, who will sell Tanski Talks shirts at their game vs. the Atlanta Gladiators this Friday, April 7.
Mental health is a matter that Tanski holds close to his heart. When Tanski lived in Ottawa, Canada, he met 20 year NHL player, Luke Richardson and developed a relationship with his family. Richardson lost his daughter, Daron, to mental illness. After Daron took her own life at the age of 14, the family came together to start the organization DIFD (Do It for Daron).
“They are a fantastic family that inspires me to make a difference in the various communities that I have played in, whether it was Orlando or Reading or here in South Carolina,” Tanski said.
From simply wearing a bracelet that reads ‘Do It For Daron’ to creating his own initiative, Tanski has impacted the various communities that hockey has made his home. Tanski spent 4 years in Orlando, where he put together his first mental health awareness night.
“We came up with the name Tanski Talks, a night kind of like the night we are doing on April 7,” Tanski said. “We raised over $17,000 in my first year for the Central Florida Mental Health Association, which was fantastic.”
The next year, Tanski did the same thing in Reading. He raised over $5,000 along with personally visiting different mental health organizations.
Initially, he planned on giving the money raised back to the original organization, DIFD, but Daron’s mother Stephanie Richardson and the family wanted him to keep all of the donations locally where he was playing.
Now, Tanski will leave his mark on the Lowcountry. Friday night the Stingrays will be selling “Tanski Talks” t-shirts for $25 with all proceeds going to NAMI Lowcountry and Mental Health Heroes (Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center). Tanski designed these t-shirts with a purpose.
“It’s the stacked double T’s for Tanski Talks,” Tanski said. “I did a puzzle piece which is connected to mental health. Everyone matters and everyone is a piece in the overall puzzle of life.”
A portion of all tickets for April 7 purchased through this online offer will benefit NAMI and Mental Health Heroes.
In the words of Tanski, “Mental Illness does not know skin color, gender, or age. The people who struggle with it fight a constant battle, one which should never be fought alone.”
The Stingrays have three games remaining in the final week of the ECHL’s regular season, starting Wednesday night on the road vs. Atlanta. South Carolina returns home to face the Gladiators on Friday before squaring off with Cincinnati on Saturday. Both remaining home games begin at 7:05 p.m.
Single-game tickets are on sale now at the North Charleston Coliseum Box Office and ticketmaster.com.
Playoff ticket packages are also on sale now! Reserve your seat for all home playoff action by completing our online playoff order form.
Groups of 10 or more are on sale now featuring discounted pricing and great benefits. The first 2,000 fans through the doors at Friday’s game vs. Atlanta receive a free Stingrays rally towel! For more information or to place an order call the Stingrays front office at 843-744-2248 or stop by 3300 W. Montague Ave. Suite A-200 during business hours.