The #HartnellDown Foundation formed in 2012 by NHL All-Star, Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers provides support to charities that support hockey, children and communities around the US and Canada.
The genesis of the #HartnellDown Foundation was a slight, a way to publicly (lightly) poke fun of an NHL player who couldn’t go even a period without having to pick himself off the cold, hard ice.
It was game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup final between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks when the Twitter hashtag #HartnellDown was born. Long-time Flyers fan Seth Hastings had seen Scott Hartnell fall to the ice just one too many times and decided to keep track of the falls on Twitter.
“I just remember thinking, ‘Next season, I’m going to have to keep track of how many times this guy falls,’ ” Hastings says. “It’s as simple as that. It really just began with a cult following on Twitter, but slowly it started getting bigger and bigger as last season wore on.”
True enough. But it wasn’t until mid-November of this season did #hartnelldown start to take on a life of its own. You see, that’s when Hartnell joined the Twitter revolution. Rather than take offence however, the fun-loving @Hartsy19 chose to embrace the new catch phrase. Within days, he made his first tweet containing the hashtag.
And the #HartnellDown Foundation was born. Inspired by the following online, Scott Hartnell and his team decided to do something good with the #HartnellDown buzz and create t-shirts, hats, hoodies and other promotional items with proceeds to benefit Scott’s favorite charities.
Formed in January, its mandate is to provide financial support to charities that deal with three things that are very important to Hartnell — hockey, children and his hometown of Lloydminster, Sask./Alta.
The foundation’s first initiative focuses on two of those things. Hartnell will provide between five and 10 all-expenses paid scholarships for disadvantaged Philadelphia youths to attend the highly respected Minnesota Hockey Camp this summer.
“And to think, all this came out of a spoof on my reckless style of play,” Hartnell says. “It’s actually been unbelievable. I never would have imagined it would be this big already and it’s only been a few months. People are just loving it, I think because they know every penny is going to a good cause, but still it’s blowing my mind.”
Charity is nothing new to Hartnell, the youngest of four siblings and the son of school teachers. He is one of the more generous Flyers when it comes to donating his time to visit sick children along with other team functions. He was also named the Chairman of the Beard for the NHLPA’s annual Beard-A-Thon, which encourages fans to collect pledges for growing facial hair during the playoffs. Money raised by the Beard-A-Thon goes to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, a cause near-and-dear to Hartnell’s heart. His mom had a stroke during his rookie NHL season, 10 years ago now.
#HartnellDown Foundation and Scott would like to give a huge thanks to the fans for their continued support.
About Scott Hartnell
As the starting left-wing forward for the Philadelphia Flyers, an NHL All-Star, a featured player in HBO’s 24/7 Flyers/Rangers series and the star of countless Youtube moments, Scott Hartnell is an exceptional athlete, natural performer, and devoted philanthropist.
Team: Philadelphia Flyers
Position: Left Wing
Hometown: Regina, SK
Draft: 6th Overall, 2000 – Predators