Thrivent Partners with Tanner's Team

Hockey Day Minnesota gives members the chance to help families of kids with life-threatening illnesses

Tanner Fuls loved playing hockey. And he would have loved Hockey Day Minnesota, an annual celebration of the state's hockey legacy.

In July 2010, the St. Cloud youngster was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a form of pre-leukemia. Five months later, at the age of 11, Tanner passed away after fighting a courageous battle.

But in a very real sense, Tanner will be in attendance at Hockey Day Minnesota 2018. After his passing, a group of local people who knew and loved him launched Tanner's Team Foundation. It helps families in Minnesota who have children with life-threatening illnesses focus on their kids without having to worry about household bills.

"We pay mortgages, we pay car payments, we pay electrical bills – whatever expenses the family is incurring," says Gail Cruikshank, the foundation's vice chair. Since its founding, Tanner's Team Foundation has awarded grants to 170 families throughout Minnesota exceeding $150,000.

For Cruikshank, as with so many other volunteers, this work is very personal. "I had a connection with the family before Tanner became sick, and really went through that battle with Tanner and his family."

"We pay mortgages, we pay car payments, we pay electrical bills – whatever expenses the family is incurring," – Gail Cruikshank, Tanner's Team Foundation vice chair

The Central Minnesota Thrivent Member Network is a sponsor for Hockey Day Minnesota 2018. There will numerous promotional events highlighting Tanner's Team Foundation and the families it has helped.

"We believe that communities can be strengthened, lives can be changed, and a ripple effect of generosity can grow with this partnership between Thrivent and Tanner's Team Foundation," says Michelle Agnew, Community Engagement Leader for Thrivent's Central Minnesota Regional Financial Office in St. Cloud.

As any Minnesotan will tell you: Hockey and community play on the same team. Learn more about the organization at

Get involved: Here's what you can do

Personal donations can be made through InFaith Community Foundation to help Tanner's Team Foundation.


Eligible Thrivent members can direct available Choice Dollars® to Tanner's Team Foundation.


Eligible Thrivent Members can apply to lead a Thrivent Action Team to raise funds for the organization. Need some inspiration? Check out these Thrivent Action Team ideas (PDF).

To apply:

  1. Click on "Apply now" below to log in.
  2. Complete the application.

Once your activity is approved, you'll receive $250 in seed money to jump-start your event as well as a kit containing T-shirts and a banner to create visibility!