Jute Norlin, followed by mother Kelsey, heads off by unicycle from the Little Mountain Sports Complex in the Ride Don’t Hide event for Canadian Mental Health Association Shuswap-Revelstoke on Sunday, June 23. Norlin’s wheel saw 16,000 rotations to complete the 10-kilometre route. (Kayleigh Seibel - Salmon Arm Observer file)

COVID-19 puts brakes on CMHA fundraiser ride

8th annual Ride Don’t Hide event cancelled amid pandemic, fundraising efforts move ahead anyway

COVID-19 has put the brakes on the 8th Annual Ride Don’t Hide.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Vernon and District Branch was planning to hold the ride in June, but the health and well-being of the community comes first and the ride, which aims to reduce mental health stigma and raise funds for local programming, has been cancelled.

“We want to avoid any unnecessary risks during the global pandemic we are experiencing,” CMHA Vernon executive director Julia Payson said.

Instead of the cycling event, CMHA Vernon has launched a fundraiser in its place. In This Together — COVID-19 Community Crisis Response will raise funds to meet the increased demand for Crisis Line services and the Nutrition Program.

“More than ever, our programs and services are desperately needed in the community,” Payson said. “We know many are struggling emotionally and financially, but for those who are able to help, we are most grateful.”

The local branch of CMHA has moved most of its programming online and to the phone while adding new services such as Phone Buddy to meet the increased need for social and emotional support for community members in isolation.

Staff and volunteers have also prepared, packaged and delivered more than 2,000 freezer-ready meals since mid-March and began food hamper delivery last month.

The Crisis Line has received a record amount of calls with 90 percent of those related to COVID-19 concerns.

Amid the pandemic, CMHA Vernon has received support through donations from Interior Savings Credit Union and TD Canada Trust to help fund relief initiatives. Donations from individuals have also been graciously accepted by the organization.

“We are incredibly thankful for the support we have received,” Payson said. “We hope to reach our $60,000 goal by the end of July to meet the need that would have been fulfilled with our Ride Don’t Hide event.”

Before COVID-19, the Ride Don’t Hide event planning was off to a great start raising more than $14,000 toward the end goal to support youth, Crisis Line and critical mental health services.

“We are the ones who have had the top fundraising ride team in Canada for the past three years,” Payson said. “The spirit of the North Okanagan community is resilient and vital and we will get through this together.”

CMHA praised its early supporters of the event who stepped up before the pandemic with donations and sponsorships.

Bannister Automotive’s lead gift of $10,000, brings their support to $42,000 over the past four years.

Dr. Loland and Taves Dental Clinic, Sterling Centre Remedy’sRx and Watkin Motors were also early supporters to this year’s Ride event.

Generous support also included Tim Hortons as Breakfast Sponsor, SUBWAY as Lunch Sponsor and Ladies World as Warm Up Sponsor. Media sponsors included Beach Radio, Castanet and Vernon Morning Star.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Vernon company’s campaign to help keep zoos, aquariums afloat

READ MORE: New innovation hub coming to downtown Vernon


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Major road project in Towship of Spallumcheen starts Monday

Reconstruction and repaving of 1.4-kilometre stretch of Back Enderby Road to last until October

No abandoned Seadoo found on Coldstream lake

Vernon Search and Rescue crews and RCMP unable to find reported abandoned Seadoo on Kal Lake

Okanagan Science Centre open with pandemic safety measures

The Vernon centre has also added four new entries to its summer camp lineup

Coldstream defenceman warrants U17 camp call

Jace Weir, 16, of the Okanagan Rockets one of 113 players picked for Hockey Canada virtual camp

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Kelowna high school football star, water skier, signs with University of Calgary

Isaac Athans, and his family, have a long history of success across various sports in the Okanagan, nationally

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Seymour Arm landslide interrupts drinking water to 500 people

The July 3 slide damaged a water system and a logging road.

Most Read