Hello everyone. For our update this time we are very pleased to announce that our outreach program met with over 300 young athletes to start this season, ranging from Salt Lake City to Rapid City and many points in between. Those in attendance were made aware of the importance of maintaining one's mental health, becoming open to new ideas regarding how mental health is looked at, as well as the details of our care program and how and when to access it. In addition to setting up a locally-based care network, a large part of our mission is our efforts to change the attitudes and culture surrounding mental health issues and work toward a day when our care program is no longer needed. That's a long way off but we hope to get there one team at a time with your help.
We would also like to thank those of you that participated in activities promoting Suicide Awareness Month. I know that there are many more appealing things to be doing on beautiful autumn afternoons and for that you have our gratitude.
While we are on the subject of raising awareness I thought it would be worthwhile to share a news story that ran over the summer on the news in Montana about Vinnie and the Foundation. If you are interested here is the link:
We also want to put out the word that the foundation is looking to fill a fundraising coordinator position. If anyone is interested or is aware of a candidate please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
As ever, the work goes on and we are fortunate to have you all here along with us. Thank you all so much for continued support and please take care of yourselves and each other.
Hello invaluable champions of the Vinnie Marroni Miracle Assist Foundation. For our latest update we are overjoyed to announce our expansion into South Dakota with the addition of the Badlands Sabres to our care network. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, they are the NA3HL's only team in the state and play in that league's Frontier Division.
Making that expansion possible is Jennifer Erdman and Rapid City Mental Health Professionals who will be covering the South Dakota for the Sabres and what we hope will be other teams soon to follow.
For those keeping track, this increases our reach to Montana, Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota. Getting the word out about what we do and overcoming organizational inertia has been a slower process than we had initially thought, but our progress is steady and we are able to continue our mission of changing the way mental care care is viewed and expanding access all because of your continued support. We look forward to more developments later this year and hope everyone is enjoying summer so far.
As always, thank you so much for your support and please take care of yourselves and each other.
Hello esteemed supporters of the Vinnie Marroni Miracle Assist Foundation. We are pleased to announce that we have expanded our outreach and coverage programs into Wyoming and Utah. In addition to covering all junior hockey players in Montana, the Provo Predators and Gillette Wild have joined us in committing to provide mental health knowledge and care to their players. We anticipate having the entire junior hockey establishments of both Utah and Wyoming, as well as Colorado on board at the start of next season in September but that work is still ongoing and we are excited about updates this summer.
We would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to Brenda Engle PMHNP-BC and Sarah Smith PMHNP-BC of the Center For Solutions in Gilette for coming on board as our Wyoming providers. We are very much looking forward to a long future working together.
If there are any of you that did not get any of the t-shirts that came out at the holidays and would like one please email me at email@example.com with your size and mailing address. Also, if you know of anyone that would like to help spread the word have them contact us and we would be happy to send them one as well. Lastly, there are subscription donations available through the site if more people are interested in becoming sustaining donors and we do hope to soon overcome some technical snags and have a function in which donations can be made in honor of or on someone's behalf that will provide a certificate of donation for any amount desired.
As always, thank you so much for your support and please take care of yourselves and each other.
Hello to all of our valued subscribers and supporters. September has been a busy time for us. In addition to being National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month it is also the start of hockey season, and as such, the Foundation's first outeach program has been completed. During training camps for the Great Falls Americans, Helena Bighorns, Bozeman Ice Dogs and Butte Cobras, all of the players were given a presentation highlighting the importance of mental health as well as warning signs to look for in themselves and others.
The presentation also outlined what resources the Foundation has available to them, primarily Montana-based, confidential, cost-free mental health care providers as well as counseling services for those that just need a little guidance. Our partnership with Alluvion Health Systems in Great Falls is a key asset in our mission and we are very grateful for their participation. With their cooperation the Foundation is able to provide one month's worth of behavioral health care for $125 per person. As the cost of one initial psychiatric evaluation is near $300, this is a powerful tool for us to do some real good in the world.
Coming soon we anticipate announcing fundraising events as well as some merchandise we hope to make available early in the new year. We are also working on expanding our outreach and coverage programs to other underserved areas of the country and look forward to bringing you news of our progress there. As always, thank you so much for your support and please take care of yourselves and each other.
Hello, everyone. It's time for an update as we have lots of positive news to share. First, I would like to introduce the foundation's Board of Directors. We are very fortunate to have such a qualified and passionate group of individuals that have signed on to offer their experience and expertise in guiding our organization going forward. You can learn more about them below.
We are also very pleased to announce our partnership with Alluvion Health of Great Falls, MT that will be providing behavioral health services as needed to our Montana teams of the NA3HL league. Currently the Great Falls Americans, Butte Cobras, Bozeman Ice Dogs and Helena Big Horns have all signed up to participate in our mental health outreach program and provide their players priority access to mental health care when the need arises.
We hope that everyone is enjoying the summer and has a fun and safe Independence Day Holiday. Take care of each other and we will be in touch later this year with more updates.
Hello everyone. We just wanted to mark the occasion of Mental Heath Awareness Month and thank you all for your support. We have some big updates coming in the near future that we are very excited about and hope you and your families are all are doing well and enjoying the spring or summer wherever you may be.
Thank you to all who have generously supported us and especially those of you receiving this update. I am pleased to say that the Vinnie Marroni Miracle Assist Foundation has received official 501 (c)(3) status as a recognized non-profit organization from the Internal Revenue Service. This means that your contributions for 2021 and beyond are tax deductible by referencing our tax ID number 87-2087041.
With that in place we have begun our outreach program of contacting junior hockey teams and having them sign up with our organization and agreeing to have mental health care clinicians added to their current staff of team doctors to provide care for their players when needed. Upon signing up, we find each team a local (when available) psychiatric provider and therapist or counselor that agrees to provide priority appointments to the players of their team when needed. This process has been much more difficult than we had anticipated, as four to six month wait times for appointments are not uncommon, further underscoring our understanding of just how dire the need is for more people in this field of work.
We believe that this arrangement will benefit all parties involved in the relationship with the foundation. The players, typically aged 16-21, many of whom are from all across North America and Europe, may not have insurance that covers this type of care and thus be reluctant to seek help when needed. The teams that sign up with us get a powerful recruiting tool to attract talent as well as a means to help keep their players mentally healthy and available to play. The clinicians that participate in the program get the benefit of knowing that their fees will be covered by the Foundation in the event that insurance does not. We also plan to have introductory materials available for participating teams for the start of next season as well as a type of orientation presentation to impart the importance of care to players and coaches. It is also our hope that this diverse group of players exposed to our program will have new attitudes and awareness of mental health priorities and carry that with them going forward in life, becoming ambassadors of change and having a positive influence on the many parts of the world that they are from and to which they go.
For our initial push, we are introducing our program in the NA3HL's Frontier division, which consists of eight teams in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. We feel that the vastness of the geography involved and the culture shock that many players coming here may experience, especially those leaving their homes for the first time, lends itself to an increased need to cope with anxiety, depression and many other unfamiliar mental health perils that players may experience. Another reason in deciding where to start is that Vinnie is an alumnus of the Great Falls Americans and we felt it important to continue his story there.
For our progress to date, we have three teams signed up. The Butte Cobras, the Bozeman Ice Dogs and the Great Falls Americans. We would like to extend a special thank you to Willow Rossmiller who put in the work to set up Great Falls with its own integrated mental health care program. So far it has been much more difficult than expected to find local clinicians for the teams and may be necessary to utilize telehealth services when needed. We of course are gladly accepting referrals for therapists, counselors and providers that might be interested in participating either now or in the future.
Looking ahead, the new year will bring continued expansion of our outreach efforts as well as the assembling and announcement of our board of directors. We look forward to sharing our progress with you and greatly appreciate your very generous support in 2021 and beyond. We are hopeful that 2022 will be a much better year for everyone and their families and are excited about the possibility to help make that happen.