Edmonton ringette community honours the late Erin Lukas, raises money for mental health

Edmonton’s Ringette community came together to raise awareness for mental illness and to honour and celebrate the life of one of their own. Bailey Nitti has more.

Edmonton’s ringette community came together this weekend to play in a special tournament to honour and celebrate the life of one of their own.

The “Ring it on for Mental Health” tournament was organized by a close friend and teammate of 20-year-old Erin Lukas, who lost her battle with a mental illness last August.

“I grew up playing ringette with Erin, I struggled with my own mental health, I think a lot of us have. Going to ringette was an escape for me, and Erin was a huge part of that,” said Morgan Weisgerber. “She was vibrant, and she always made me laugh, she always made the team laugh.”

Credit: CityNews/Bailey Nitti

As soon as the event was announced, players from all over Edmonton and the surrounding area signed up to play. A total of 13 teams competed in the day-long event Saturday.

The arena was packed with family, friends and fans.

“Today is a start of a new movement towards sport for fun and bringing sport back to what it was meant to do: to bring kids together, develop social skills and have fun,” said Weisgerber.

Credit: CityNews/Bailey Nitti

Erin Lukas’ family and friends say she made a huge impact in the ringette community and her love for the sport shines through this tournament.

“She lives through these kinds of events and this kind of positivity,” said her sister Rudi Lukas. “Everyone’s really just coming together and having fun. And I think Erin would be like, ‘wow you guys rock.’”

Rudi is hoping her sister’s story will help others who might also be struggling with their mental health.

“What we do know is this is the life we have here and there’s people that love you and there is always a way to get help,” she said.

Credit: CityNews/Bailey Nitti

Proceeds from the tournament are being donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

Weisgerber says after a successful day, she’s excited to see the tournament grow, and for Lukas to always be remembered for years to come

“I think Erin would say that she is proud of us. I think she would say that she’s glad to see everyone here today and she would say she’s happy we are here together doing what we love,” said Weisgerber.

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