Ride Don’t Hide Update
It’s only 17 days until Ride Don’t Hide 2016, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) national cycling fundraiser.
Ride Don’t Hide celebrates its 5th anniversary with 29 events in five provinces, all taking place on June 26. This year, organizers are aiming for 8,000 participants and hope to raise $1.5 million for mental health programs. To keep you up-to-date about the event, this Ride Don’t Hide newsletter will be sent out weekly until the event.
1) Ride Update: This year’s Ride Don’t Hide event promises to be the biggest ever, as both riders registered and funds raised are up by more than 30 per cent over this time last year. As of June 8, 3,686 riders have joined up, compared to 2,894 at this time last year, and $615,608 has been raised, up from $431,000 at this time last year. For more information on this year-over-year growth, see our June 8 news release.
2) Calgary Rider Fought Fires and Mental Illness: Retired Calgary firefighter Mark Weatherly rose up the ranks to District Chief while living with obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. Now he’s the chief of the Don’t Worry, Just Ride team, which was the nation’s largest in 2015 with more than 130 members. In this video, Mark describes his latest battle: the still-common misconception that mental illness is a weakness, not an illness.
3) One Million Shopper’s Optimum Points: B.C. ride title sponsor Shoppers Drug Mart has come up with a novel way of celebrating women who are making a contribution toward mental health in the province – awarding one million Shopper’s Optimum Points to one woman from a group nominated by their communities. The finalists have been chosen and the voting has begun. Right now, Coquitlam student Vanessa Stewart has a healthy lead, but there is still time before voting ends June 19. Follow the Shoppers Drug Mart LOVE.YOU. contest at ridedonthide.com.
4) Andrew’s blog: CMHA volunteer Andrew is training to ride 20 kilometres in the Vancouver ride for the first time on June 26, while he’s in the midst of a very real, right-now battle with schizoaffective disorder. He shares his remarkable story in his very frank and moving blog on the Ride Don’t Hide website.
To learn more or to line up interviews about any of these stories, please contact:
Jennifer Quan, Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
604-688-3234 or firstname.lastname@example.org