The Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 10U BB team rallied recently to participate in a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Orange County Walks Your Way fundraiser at Toyota Sports Performance Center (TSPC) and, collectively, raised an impressive $1,060 for NAMI.
The initiative was led by Stefanie Mueller, the mother of 10U BB goaltender Eli Mueller who lost her sister, Samantha, to suicide (Samantha suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia with Auditory Hallucinations).
“We talked about how important mental health is for everyone - not just for individuals who live with mental illness,” said Stefanie Mueller. “We talked about why we were walking, and I was able to do a team-building exercise during which each player had to write something nice about every one of their teammates.”
After the walk, the group participated in a spirited players-against-parents hockey game at TSPC.
“This was a perfect opportunity for parents to understand how much work our kids put in each game,” Mueller added.
Mueller credits 10U BB head coach Dimitri Voulelikas, assistant Matt Martin, team manager Meg Gray and the entire Jr. Kings organization for championing the mission.
“They’re so amazing for supporting this; I can’t say that enough,” said Mueller. “I can’t thank them all enough for giving my family this opportunity to share my sister’s story.”