An advocacy and awareness group that formed following the death of former Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinski has raised $28,000 in its first fundraiser.
The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation partnered with Be Bottle, which manufactures and sells insulated water bottles, and released a new special edition #3 Hilinski’s Hope and dedicated 100 percent of the profits to the foundation. As a WSU Cougar quarterback Hilinski’s number was 3.
The Hilinski’s Hope Foundation is a nonprofit started by the Hilinski family to raise money for programs that help educate, advocate and destigmatize mental illness among student athletes. The water bottle was released in May in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness month, and the fundraiser was extended into June to meet the significant demand.
Drew Bledsoe, Be Bottle co‑founder and chief brand champion, worked closely with the Hilinski family to develop the bottle to honor Tyler’s legacy and to prevent future student athlete tragedies. Hilinski took his own life in January in Pullman.
“I’m incredibly honored to be part of this collaboration, and I want to thank everyone who supported the effort. I’m also proud that we’re going to keep it going and continue raising funds to help Hilinski’s Hope reach other student athletes in need,” said Bledsoe. “Here’s my challenge to my fellow Cougs: Join us, help us to keep this going, and let’s make Tyler’s bottles the official bottles of Coug Nation.”
The bottle honoring Hilinski will be available throughout the college football season on the company’s website, with all proceeds donated to the Hilinski’s Hope Foundation.