'Skate for 8' Raising Awareness about Mental Health

Amy Adamle
Created: September 18, 2019 09:38 AM

A fundraiser on ice is raising awareness about suicide prevention and mental health awareness.  It's called 'Skate for 8' and it's in honor of Hunter Fronden. 


Hunter passed away from suicide in April of 2018.  Erick Fronden, his father and the organizer of the event, said it was started last year by parents of kids his son had grown up and skated with came together and wanted to form the event.

They're now working on becoming a non-profit. 

The event involves games of hockey and is called 'Skate for 8' for the number Hunter wore. 

"Saturday we're starting with squirt and peewee and moving on to a girls' game," Fronden said.  "We'll have a game of bigger kids, bantams and junior gold, and we'll end it with the Duluth Fire Department playing the Duluth Warriors."

This year, the event is raising money for Sources of Strength.

"Sources of Strength is a program at East and Denfeld just got initiated in March of this year," Shanze Hayee, a high school student with Sources of Strength, said.  "The main focus is beyond just raising awareness about mental health and kind of erasing the stigma that's around it, it goes one step further and says, 'Now what do we do?'"

Hayee said the idea is to connect students to teachers and create a bridge using a bunch of peer leaders, counselors, and teachers that have been trained in Sources of Strength.  That can help them connect to the sources of strength in their lives. 

"Basically the main idea is to train us to be able to help them build on the sources of strengths in their lives and hopefully that will help them to create a better mental health environment for themselves," Hayee said. 

Fronden wanted to give back to them because they're in the schools and they're the first lines of defense. 

Last year they raised over $2700 and they're hoping to top it this year.

"Eventually our goal is to hopefully have a tournament style format where we can bring in teams from outside the Northland and really bring money to Duluth," Fronden said.  

He also wants them to raise awareness and they'll have a both with the options people have.

'Skate for 8' is this Saturday, September 21 at the Heritage Sill Arena from 9 to 5 p.m.  The dinner and raffle will be at Clyde Iron Works from 6 to 10 p.m.  Visit their website for more information.


Amy Adamle

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