Last week inside the fabled Warroad Gardens ice rink, a local hockey fan stopped Conway Marvin to ask what the Max Foundation was all about. Marvin, whose surname represents hockey royalty within the tiny northern town, considered the inquiry itself as a sign of success. Created to honor Max Marvin, who at age 19 died by suicide on Dec. 29, 2018, the foundation operates with a mission "to raise funds with the intent to support charitable programs, projects, and activities that facilitate mental wellness amongst the youth in the Warroad area." Conway Marvin said he explained this with a certain satisfaction knowing "before December 29 of 2018, no one would have asked" about matters pertaining to mental wellness. Himself included. Conway Marvin is a cousin to David Marvin, the Warroad girls' hockey head coach and Max's father. Conway is a father of four grown children and a grandfather to eight yet said he was "disconnected" on mental wellness and suicide. He said of his eight grandchildren, "statistically, one or two of them could face mental health challenges and that scares the hell out of me." "I didn't understand how big of an issue it was," said Conway, a board chairperson. "Going through this with Max – he made a bad decision. The question is why. I don't have an answer. But it hit home that these are real, honest issues. Doing nothing was not an option." Enlightening the Warroad community is underway this school year. The Max Foundation partnered with Project 11 to provide a curriculum and access to materials focusing on mental wellness for Warroad Public Schools students from kindergarten to the sixth-grade. Project 11 was inspired and created in honor of former NHL player Rick Rypien, who died by suicide at age 27 in 2011. Though Project 11, students are taught in age-appropriate ways how to increase self-awareness of social, emotional and physical wellness and increase their ability to connect with one another. "It's going over really well," David Marvin said. "We're looking to add programs in preschool and high school as well. It's great to have something that can help kids every day because you never know when they are going to need it." David Marvin also made changes within his successful program this season. He chose not to hold practice on Thursday, Jan. 9 because they were no weekend games and "one more day of grinding doesn't always bring success." Moreover, he tried to find a small way to help his players with what he warned them in December was "the busiest years of their lives. They are under a tremendous amount of pressure to get good grades, do well in their sports and be good citizens." Before the season, Marvin's players presented the coaching staff with Pura Vida bracelets in team colors of black and yellow, the latter also serving as the color of suicide awareness. Players also wear the bracelets. Both the Warriors' girls' and boys' team have a "Max Foundation" sticker on the backs of their helmets. The recent holiday season, David's first since his son's death, brought more painful reminders. "I miss my hunting buddy," he said. "Pretty bad."