A downpour of rain couldn’t stop the outpouring of generosity and community spirit last Sunday as more than 170 community members including 127 riders and striders took part in the 7th annual Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ride Don’t Hide event at Creekside Park.

Over $50,000 towards the $60,000 goal was raised from online registrations and donations, a virtual ride hosted at Soul Studio fitness club, and proceeds from a bike raffle held by The Medicine Shoppe.

“We are overwhelmed by the continuing support we receive from our generous community,” said Julia Payson, CMHA Vernon & District Executive Director. “From participants, donors, sponsors, volunteers and supporters, it is encouraging and heartening to see everyone working together to help end the stigma that prevents people from receiving the mental health services they need.”

Funds raised from the event will support youth mental health education and peer support programs, and the 24/7 Crisis Line.

“When our community loses someone to suicide, particularly a young person, it resounds with an unsettling chord through each of us,” said Payson. “Grief support and Crisis Line services are vitally important to help the healing process. Through early education and support, we can help build skills and resilience to empower ourselves and our youth.”

CMHA Vernon will be accepting donations towards this year’s Ride Don’t Hide until July 15. Donors can support the ride by giving online at www.ridedonthide.com/bc/ride/vernon/ or in person at CMHA Vernon branch located at 3100 – 28th Avenue.

The annual ride creates a safe, open community where individuals can talk about their mental health free of judgment. The day’s activities included a free breakfast sponsored by Tim Hortons, free lunch sponsored by Subway, activities for kids provided by O’Keefe Ranch, experiments with the Okanagan Science Centre, and face painting.

The Vernon ride is one of the most successful Ride Don’t Hide events in the country, last year raising more funds per capita than any other community.

To date, Ride Don’t Hide has raised more than $228,000 for CMHA, Vernon & District Branch mental health programs.

Ride Don’t Hide returns to Creekside Park next year on June 14th, 2020.

About Ride Don’t Hide
Ride Don’t Hide is the Canadian Mental Health Association’s flagship fundraising campaign focused on reducing stigma and raising money for mental health. First launched with Michael Schratter’s 40,000 km ride around the globe in 2010, the 7th annual Ride Don’t Hide is a national event held on June 24th in 31 communities, across seven provinces, from Tofino, BC, to St. John’s, NL. The Ride has raised $6 million in funding for mental health programs and services in communities across Canada.

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