Paul Martin shining a light on mental health

For over 850 NHL games, Paul Martin has been a player that can be counted on to make a difference. It’s a well-earned reputation, and one that extends far beyond the hockey arena.

He also shares just how important it is for him to lend a helping hand to others.

It’s the driving force behind the creation of the Shine A Ligh7 Foundation. Martin’s love of music, especially The Rolling Stones, became the inspiration for the name through their song, "Shine A Light.”

Shine A Ligh7 will help raise awareness for those affected by bullying, depression, and mental health issues.

“I grew up skating on the pond behind our house and fell in love with the game of hockey,” said Martin on Shine A Ligh7’s official website. “Even today, the game of hockey continues to give me so much. I've been fortunate to play at so many levels - youth, high school, college and the NHL. It's allowed me to meet so many great people in cities across the United States, Canada, and around the world. I have been extremely blessed to have a solid foundation of love and support from my family and friends. I've had so many great teachers, coaches, and teammates that have helped mold and shape that foundation. They constantly remind me to put in the hard work, to not taking anything for granted and that anything is possible.”

On September 3 in Minneapolis, Martin hosted his first annual charity concert for Shine A Ligh7.

The Shane Martin Band performed their hits at the event, an evening that brought out fellow Sharks defenceman Brent Burns and Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise, and also included a live auction.

“Shine A Ligh7 was created over time through my experiences and relationships,” said Martin, who made his NHL debut with New Jersey in 2003-04.

“It was born when I realized just how important and meaningful it was to me, wanting to make a difference in the well being of children's lives, those dealing with depression, bullying, suicide and overall mental health illness.

“Throughout my NHL journey, I've been able to step away from the game to spend time with children and families who need love and support. Continuing this journey, I hope we can shine more light on mental health illnesses and the stigma surrounding them. I also have a special place in my heart for military veterans and their families.”

Martin sees the foundation as a true team effort, something he noted in the last line of his website message.

“Hopefully, you will join me to help Shine A Ligh7 on all kinds of mental health illnesses and the circumstances that have caused them to surface.”

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