Going Purple for Power

By Natalie Rubino

February 11, 2013 Updated Feb 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton Senators go "Purple for Power" to raise awareness about the importance of youth mental health.

The Binghamton Senators game against the Albany Devils on Sunday wasn't just about playing and watching a game.

Fans wore purple to the game to support mental health awareness.

The event was sponsored by "Do it for Daron," an organization created in memory of the daughter of B-Sens' head coach Luke Richardson. His daughter Daron lost her life to suicide three years ago at age 14.

Daron's mom, Stephanie Richardson, said Daron's friends created the organization after she died.

"Her friends and teammates started D.I.F.D very soon after we lost Daron to suicide," RIchardson said. "They were very courageous. They asked us if we were okay with it and we said, 'of course we are.' It gave them an outlet to express how they were feeling and they were never given that before," she said. "It wasn't something they talked about at school. It wasn't anything we talked about at home."

Keith Leahay, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of The Southern Tier, said suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds.

"People who attend tonight and attend these events in the future are going to learn something," Leahay said. "They're going to be able to better prepare themselves in order to maybe reach a friend who may be contemplating suicide.".

D.I.F.T had merchandise available for fans to purchase and raffled off purple B-Sens jerseys that were signed by the players.

Stephanie Richardson said she hopes the event will help bring more awareness to the importance of mental health.

"The message is a very important one. Have the conversation. Take the time. And if you're not feeling well, ask for help, tell somebody," she said.

At the end of the game, fans who wore purple were invited onto the ice to form a heart in memory of Daron.

Amie Hart has been involved with D.I.F.D for over a year now and said she was happy to be apart of Sunday night's event.

"The support from the community is absolutely outstanding," Hart said. "I am loving seeing everyone here in purple and they're supporting the cause. You can't ask for more," Hart said.

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