Interview with Jeff Fisher

Bo Tkach Foundation CEO Jim Tkach joined High School Football America radio show host Jeff Fisher on July 25th to talk about high school football coaches needing to be educated on the topic of teenage depression and suicide. High School Football America is the country's only weekly, national high school football radio show.

Lycoming teammates, coaches support Tkach


When Jim Tkach played his college football at Lycoming College back in the 70s, they formed such a tight knit group that even when they parted following graduation, they ties were never cut.

The bond became even stronger when Tkach's son Bo committed suicide back in 2007.

Jim and his wife Sandy wanted to do something that would help others with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other mental health issues and formed the Bo Tkach Foundation. The biggest fundraider for the foundation is the Bo Tkach Memorial Golf Tournament, held each year in early May.

The tournament has drawn numerous sponsors and one of the regular sponsors is "Lycoming Football Teams 1977-78".

Read the full article on the the Times News website.www.tnonline.com

Miners' Nurses Week 2013 sponsors Bo Tkach Under the Helmet Foundation

William O'Gurek, treasurer of the Bo Tkach Foundation, celebrates
William O'Gurek, treasurer of the Bo Tkach Foundation, celebrates "Nurses' Week" at the St. Luke's Hospital, Miners Campus, with registered nurses at the facility, including, from left, Lisa Yackanicz, Claudia Kupek, Kathy Matika and Thomas Slater.

"Nurses' Week 2013" got its official start on Monday, May 6, at St. Luke's Hospital, Miners Campus, during a breakfast program held at the Coaldale facility.

During the program, Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek, who is also the treasurer of the Bo Tkach Under the Helmet and Hat Foundation, praised the nurses and the hospital for the "kindness and compassion they provide to the people of the Schuylkill and Carbon areas who become patients here, as well as their families."

O'Gurek was present to represent the foundation that was founded several years ago in memory of Bo Tkach, a former area athlete and student who took his life in 2007. The hospital selected the foundation to be the recipient of funds it raises during its annual Nurses' Week activities.

But the commissioner first offered praise for the St. Luke's administration in general and the nurses in specific, saying, "I have always had a special affection for the quality of care the people in your profession provide families in the region." He told the nurses, "There is a special place in my heart for how you take care of patients and their families, especially at times when they need that comfort the most. It takes a special person to work every day in a profession such as your's, and so I want to commend you for the work you do each and every day."

Read the full article on the the Times News website.www.tnonline.com

Family using tragedy to turn other lives around

From The News Journal, delawareonline.com

Sandi and Jim Tkach of Milford hold grandson Cooper earlier this month.Sandi and Jim Tkach of Milford hold grandson Cooper earlier this month. The Tkachs lost their son, Bo, to suicide in July 2007, and have worked since then to share their story. / GARY EMEIGH/The News Journal
Losing son sets the Tkachs down a new path in life.

Jim and Sandi Tkach (pronounced “tack”) of Milford were watching the news one night about five years ago when they heard something that still amazes them. At the time, they were living in Pennsylvania, where a church secretary had been found dead of a gunshot wound and the police had just arrested a man on a murder charge.

“We’re so thankful it wasn’t suicide,” a relative of the murdered woman told a reporter, “and we didn’t have to face that embarrassment.”

The Tkachs were stunned. That embarrassment? That’s not what they faced when their son, Bo, died of suicide on July 20, 2007. No, they faced the gut-wrenching grief of losing a child and the searing questions that rushed in afterward.

The moment proved to be a turning point for the Tkachs, who decided to fight the silence, the stigma and the hopelessness that often shapes the aftermath of a suicide.

Now, just a year after moving to Delaware to be closer to family and their new grandson, they find themselves within a quick drive of every one of the 11 Kent and Sussex families who lost a child to suicide in the first four months of this year and the 116 others whose children attempted suicide during the same period. The cluster of deaths – all within a 25-mile radius – prompted Delaware officials to call for help from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Continue reading the full article on the Delaware Online website

Hynoski lends a hand to Tkach family’s cause.

Tyler Tkach and Henry HynoskiTyler Tkach (left) and Henry Hynoski (right) were teammates at the University of Pittsburgh. Hynoski is now a Super Bowl champion with the Giants. (Handout, THE MORNING CALL / May 2, 2012)
Super Bowl champion fullback Henry Hynoski helps out with cause spotlighted by the Junior Seau tragedy

Henry Hynoski was having a good time on Wednesday, hanging out with his buddy Tyler Tkach, playing golf and being in back in eastern Pennsylvania in a town not far from where he grew up.

Life has been good for Hynoski, the former Southern Columbia High School standout, ever since his New York Giants beat New England 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI.

But if Hynoski needed a reminder why he was at Blue Ridge Country Club near Palmerton, he got it with the force of a Brian Urlacher blitz when he heard about the suicide death of legendary NFL linebacker Junior Seau.

"It really hits you and puts it into perspective of why we're here today," Hynoski said. "Suicide is an on-going problem and we're here today trying to raise money to help those who need it to deal with mental illness."

Hynoski had just competed in the fifth annual Bo Tkach Memorial Golf Tournament.

Bo Tkach, a standout student-athlete at Northern Lehigh High School and Wilkes University, committed suicide in July of 2007.

The Bo Tkach Under the Helmet and Hat Foundation was founded by Bo's parents, Jim and Sandi Tkach, to increase awareness of obsessive compulsive disorder and other mental health issues and provide funding for mental health screening and treatment.

Read the full article on the The Morning Call website. www.mcall.com

Hynoski promotes Tkach tourney.

Hynosli, Millen and Lavelle
ED HEDES/TIMES NEWS New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski (left) and ESPN football commentator Matt Millen (right) take time out at the Fifth Annual Bo Tkach Memorial Golf Tournament to sign autographs for special gust Connor Lavelle, a fan of the Super Bowl Champs.
Henry Hynoski made quite an impact during his rookie season in the NFL.

The Elysburg native, who grew up playing high school football for Class A state champion Southern Columbia and later at the University of Pittsburgh, is still a small town boy at heart.

Those attributes were never more evident than they were at Blue Ridge Country Club n Wednesday afternoon when Hynoski was a special guest at the Fifth Annual Bo Tkach Memorial Golf Tournament, to raise money to create awareness for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other mental health issues while providing funding for youth athletic programs, scholarships and otherwise inaccessible individual mental health screening and treatment.

Even though the winning foursome of Glenn Harding, Butch Roman, Woody Saylor and Al Sellers fired a round of 61 and held the tiebreaker edge, more focus was put on money being raised in both the bidding auction and silent auction which featured several game jerseys and items from Hynoski, autographed footballs from the late Joe Paterno and new PSU head coach Bill O'Brien and more.

Hynoski was a four-year teammate of Ty Tkach, Bo's brother, and jumped at the chance to come back to help a charity started by a family that not only Henry, but his mom and dad, became quite close friends of.

With local players Robbie Frey and Mike Ryan signing free agent contracts following the draft, Henry hopes they both take the same road to the NFL as he did, even though his trip was a bit more nerve-wracking.

Read the full article on the the Times News website.www.tnonline.com

Bo Tkach foundation focused on teens.

Jamie Drake, Jim Tkach, Sandra Tkach and James Snell; and back, Manny Guedes, Ron Kuntz and William O'Gurek.
The Bo Tkach Under the Helmet and Hat Foundation has attained its own non-profit corporation status. Among the corporation members are, front, from left, Jamie Drake, Jim Tkach, Sandra Tkach and James Snell; and back, Manny Guedes, Ron Kuntz and William O'Gurek.
Under the Helmet and Hat Foundation receives non-profit status from the state

Announcement of the corporation's formation, with sanctioning from the Internal Revenue Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, was made recently.

Previous to gaining its own identity, the foundation – formed to create awareness of mental health disorders and to provide essential funding for youths programs, scholarships and otherwise inaccessible individual mental health screening and treatment – was launched with the assistance of the Men of Marian, the booster organization that supports Marian High School, Hometown.

Jim Tkach, retired educator and head football coach at Northern Lehigh High School and a Lehighton native, is the president and CEO of the corporation. Other officers are: Jamie Drake, vice president; William O'Gurek, treasurer; Jaime Mendez, secretary; and Sandra Tkach, assistant treasurer.

Board members include Ron Kuntz, Slatington; Theresa Christman, Palmerton; Jim Snell, Coopersburg; Mike Follweiler, New Ringgold; Fred Lesher, Palmerton; Tristin Brannan, Milford, Del.; Tyler Tkach, Pittsburgh; Manny Guedes, Palmerton; and Rob Mikulski, Lehighton.

Read the full article on the the Times News website.www.tnonline.com