VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver Canucks players and fans are marking a sad anniversary. Rick Rypien took his own life one year ago today.

The scrappy centre spent six seasons in the Canucks organization before signing a contract with the Winnipeg Jets last summer.

The 27-year-old had been battling some personal demons. He was found dead in his home in Alberta.

Rypien’s teammates, friends, and fans are trying to do something positive in the young man’s memory by raising money for a local charity.

“We’re doing a silent auction with some Canucks merchandise, signed items and whatnot, to raise money to donate to Mind Check,” says auction organizer Ellen Ransford.

The Mind Check website was created to help young people identify and understand mental distress they may be experiencing, and to link them to sources of help that will enable them to learn skills and strategies to manage these problems.

“And we have a book for people to sign that will be going to [Rypien's] family, to let them know we think about them still,” adds Ransford.

Andrew the Crazy Canuck, a well-known character for fans at Canucks home games, is also showing his support for Rypien and the Mind Check website. He says he’s paying his respects, not just for Rypien’s contribution on the ice, but also for the player’s struggle off the ice.

“Because I suffer from depression as well,” he says. “It kind of touched home base for me when he passed.”

“I want people to understand there are a lot of people in the world, in Canada, in BC, in Vancouver that suffer from this illness,” adds Andrew.

The silent auction is accepting bids outside of the Rogers Arena box office until 6 p.m.

On September 4th, there will be a golf tournament at Mayfair Lakes in Richmond, which is also raising money for Mind Check.

The Canucks Autism Network and Rypien’s hockey school in Alberta will also benefit.

Travis Britton was friends with Rypien and is one of the organizers of the tournament.

“With the support of the Canucks and Rick Rypien’s family, and the president of the alumni, we’ve managed to get a good group of alumni coming out,” he says.

Thomas Gradin, Orland Kurtenbach, Dave Babych, and Darcy Rota are among the names attending the tournament, along with several current players.

“We have guys like [Kevin] Bieksa, [Alex] Burrows, and even new Canucks defenseman …  [Jason] Garrison coming out,” Britton adds.

There will be prizes up for grabs, and dinner when the golfing is done.