Shirelle, Veronica and Jodi from The Medicine Shoppe, which will be raffling a Giant XTC Jr 20 bike valued at $399 to raise funds for the ride. (Contributed)

The annual event takes place Sunday, June 23 at Creekside Park in Coldstream

Pre-registrations, sponsorships and donations for the CMHA annual Ride Don’t Hide event have raised more than $34,000 to date towards the $60,000 goal to raise awareness and funds for local mental health.

The event takes place Sunday, June 23 at Creekside Park in Coldstream. Registration is $35 for youth and adults, and free for children 12 and under. Participants also have the option of having the registration fee waived if they raise $100 in donations.

“We are grateful for the continued support and generosity from our community members who rally around our family, friends, neighbours and co-workers who are living with mental health challenges,” said Julia Payson, CMHA Vernon & District Executive Director.

The family-oriented event is open to all ages and skill levels, from a 2.2 km fun course to a more challenging 40 km ride. New this year is ‘Stride Don’t Hide,’ a walking route for non-cyclists to take part in combatting mental health stigma. For those who prefer the great indoors, Soul Studio is hosting a virtual Spin Ryde indoors the day of the event.

Attendees will enjoy coffee, muffins and donuts courtesy of Tim Hortons, a pre-route warm-up from Ladies World, a post-route lunch of sandwiches, water and cookies donated by Subway, plus kids activities from the Okanagan Science Centre and O’Keefe Ranch, and good times from the SUN FM Fun Seeker.

National and local event sponsor, The Medicine Shoppe will be raffling a Giant XTC Jr 20 bike valued at $399 to raise funds for the ride. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10 and available at The Medicine Shoppe in Vernon, at the Sunshine Festivaland at the ride on June 23. The draw will take place at Creekside Park after the participants have returned from the ride and walk.

“I believe it is crucial that we recognize mental health as an important part of our overall wellness. Once we begin to encourage dialogue with all patients about mental health, we will create valuable opportunities to support individuals and communities in achieving both physical and mental wellness,” said Medicine Shoppe owner/pharmacist Jodi Cunningham.

Funds raised will help support youth programs and suicide prevention initiatives:

  • Super Saturday, an early intervention and prevention activity-based out of school program for children aged 7-12 years old that have a parent living with a mental illness.
  • Friday Night Live, which offers youth 13-17 a peer-support activity-based program to manage their mental wellness.
  • Youth Connections, a prevention-based education sessions for youth and youth leaders in school and club settings to address youth substance use, mental health promotion and suicide prevention to equips youth with knowledge and tools for managing mental health and wellness through building relationships and providing a knowledge-base of community resources to access help.
  • Suicide Prevention and Intervention through the 24/7 Crisis Line, serving the North Okanagan, workshops, resources and grief support.

Individuals, families and teams can register for the ride, stride or Spin Ryde online at vernon.ridedonthide.ca or at the event from 8 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Related: Vernon CMHA benefits from Ride Don’t Hide garage sale

Related: Vernon Ride Don’t Hide event raises $59,000

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