Northwestern Press

Monday, October 22, 2018
Frank Hager, right, of the Bo Tkach Foundation, presents a $2,000 check to Bill and Chris Hankee, parents of the late Krysta Hankee, to assist the Krysta Hankee Memorial Fund helping families by providing Miles That Matter gift cards. Frank Hager, right, of the Bo Tkach Foundation, presents a $2,000 check to Bill and Chris Hankee, parents of the late Krysta Hankee, to assist the Krysta Hankee Memorial Fund helping families by providing Miles That Matter gift cards.

Bo Tkach Foundation donates to Krysta Hankee Memorial Fund

Thursday, May 24, 2018 by The Press in Local News

For families that need assistance, the Bo Tkach Under the Helmet and Hat Foundation and the Krysta Hankee Memorial Fund are there.

Members of the two nonprofit organizations met recently in Palmerton to share ideas about how each of them can continue their mission of helping others.

Tkach, a son of Jim and Sandi Tkach, then of Slatington, was a scholar-athlete who graduated in 2001 from Northern Lehigh High School and went on to become a stellar athlete at Wilkes University. After years of struggling with an obsessive-compulsive disorder, he took his own life in 2007.

Hankee, a daughter of Bill and Chris Hankee of Germansville, excelled in academics and athletics before graduating in 2003 from Northwestern Lehigh High School.

She then attended American University, Washington, D.C., where she was a Patriot League Scholar Athlete, before graduating from New York University in 2007. She died tragically in 2007, a few days after being stricken while exercising in a gym in New York City.

Parents and friends of Bo and Krysta formed foundations whose objectives are to assist others — the Tkach fund being primarily to assist adolescents to be treated for mental health disorders, as well as offering scholarships, athletic assistance and other forms of help.

The Hankee fund primarily helps families with medical transportation and other critical needs and educational grants, while promoting organ, eye and tissue donations.

“We talked about how the objectives of both organizations are so much alike,” said Bill O’Gurek, treasurer of the Bo Tkach Foundation. “What we do, and what the Hankee fund does, is aspire to make the lives of people better.”

The shared mission and partnership prompted the Tkach foundation to make a $2,000 donation to the Hankee fund, which created the “Miles That Matter” program to provide support for transportation.

Bill Hankee said the fund in memory of his daughter is the result of partnerships of more than 30 agencies and businesses in and around the Lehigh Valley and Carbon County area.

“We’re proud the Bo Tkach Foundation has decided to help with the Krysta Hankee Miles That Matter program,” said Frank Hager, foundation member. “It’s our way of assisting the fund in helping those in need with special services within the local communities. Both foundations are intent on helping those who might not otherwise be able to afford what is needed.”

“We wish to thank the Bo Tkach Foundation for its generous support of our gas gift card program,” Bill Hankee said on behalf of he and his wife. “This $2,000 donation will provide over 18,000 miles of driving for families traveling to address a critical need within the family.”

The Krysta Hankee Memorial Fund also makes monetary awards to students at Lehigh Carbon Community College and Northwestern Lehigh High School.

For information, go to botkach.com or krystahankeememorialfund.org.