Tag: funerals

Wade Belak

Charitable donations pick up steam as hockey world mourns Wade Belak’s death

While Wade Belak was laid to rest this afternoon in a private funeral service in Nashville, members of the hockey community hope to promote the charities he championed and help his family get back on their feet.

Amanda DiPaolo of Inside Smashville took a look at the Wade Belak Memorial Charity Drive, which Puck Scene’s Patten Fuqua organized. The goal of that drive is to raise $3,333 (a reference to Belak’s number 3 jersey in Nashville) for The Tourette Syndrome Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital. Belak was scheduled to compete in honor of that clinic during his participation in CBC’s “Battle of the Blades.” He likely chose to aid the fight against Tourette Syndrome because one of his daughters is battling the disease.

The drive’s minimum asking pledge is $3, although DiPaolo points out that there was also a pledge of $333.33 and multiple pledges of $50 and $100. DiPaolo reports that the charity generated $1,650 so far. (Follow this link if you’re interested in donating.)

That isn’t the only route in which people are donating money in honor of Belak. Associate coach Brent Peterson pledged an additional $1,000 from a different charity event to go to the clinic, according to DiPaolo.

If people want to assist Belak’s family in a more direct way, they can do that as well.

In lieu of flowers, Belak’s family says donations can be made to The Andie and Alex Belak Scholarship Fund. Checks may be made payable to Woodmont Christian Church/Belak (3601 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215).

We’ve gone to great lengths to try to make sense of the recent string of deaths and how the league can try to adapt to help its players fight through their problems. There’s a sense that people hope that some good can come from these tragic ends in that way, but if charities also get added attention, that could be another route to find ways to generate some positives from a very sad situation.

Nearly 1,000 people attend Rick Rypien’s funeral

Alexandre Burrows, Mike Gillis

The Canadian Press reports that almost 1,000 people attended Rick Rypien’s funeral today. That list included family, friends and former teammates such as Kevin Bieksa (who was a pallbearer), Mason Raymond, Manny Malhotra and Alexandre Burrows. Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis and Rypien’s cousin/former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien were also in attendance (as you can seen from this post’s main photo).

The funeral procession included a scattering of different items from his playing career, including an autographed No. 37 jersey from his time with the Canucks, the only NHL team he suited up for. (The Winnipeg Jets signed him to a one-year, $700K deal in June, a promising development that made his death that much more shocking to many.) The program reportedly featured a photo of Rypien in a blue Canucks jersey with the phrase: “Until we all meet again.”

Rick Rypien’s uncle Allan spoke of his nephew’s struggles with depression.

Rypien said his nephew was battling a disease not unlike cancer.

“He fought this disease with everything he had in him,” he said. “If you knew Rick he fought with everything he had in him. Unfortunately the disease won the battle.”

“Be thankful the battle he faced is over.”

Follow the corresponding links for more about Rypien’s life and death.