Ride Don’t Hide raises to first

The local Ride Don’t Hide team was bumped into first place after generous donation by the Bannister Family.

Vernon’s local Ride Don’t Hide became the top fundraising team in Canada thanks to the incredible support from the community.

The Ride Don’t Hide event took place on June 25, and the fundraising goal was doubled. It was a $12,000 gift supporting Liam’s Lunar Monkeys from the Bannister Family that bumped them ahead into first place.

With the added raised funds, the team’s total was almost tripled from their original goal of $20,000 to over $58,000.

In memory of Liam Hack who died in 2016 from suicide, Liam’s Lunar Monkeys raised over $31,000.

“Our family is so touched to see how the community has come out to support mental healthy in honour of Liam,” said Liam’s parents Jay Hack and Sheila Stainton.

It is Hack’s and Stainton’s hopes to prevent other families from going through the experience of losing a loved one from mental illness by telling their story.

“We wanted to share our story to create the discussion about youth suicide in our community and continue to help break down the stigma,” said Hack and Stainton.

CMHA Executive Director Julia Payson said it is very important to recognize the importance of youth mental health.

“It is because of brave people and families in our community sharing their stories about mental health that we can continue to break down the stigma that prevents people from seeking help,” said Payson.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds in BC and through a survey it was found that in one year, five per cent of youth had made a suicide attempt and 12 per cent gave it serious thought.

Ride Don’t Hide is an annual fundraiser hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in support of mental health and with the goal to end the stigma around mental illness.