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Jack Ride for mental health scheduled for Caledon

May 16, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written by: JOSHUA SANTOS

About 1000 participants in 85 teams will peddle their way through Caledon for the 10th annual Jack Ride on Saturday, May 25th.

Individuals in the Jack Ride, known as Canada’s Ride for Youth Mental Health, have raised $819,779.97 as of press time with a goal of $1,000,000.00. They’ve achieved 82 per cent of their goal from 5031 donors.

“Jack Ride is our biggest fundraiser to help empower our programs across the country,” said Jesse Haymam, director of development and communication of Jack.org. “This is a big year, since we are going into our 10th Jack Ride, and we shot for an extremely ambitious goal of having 1,000 riders raise $1 million, which is the most the Jack Ride will have every raised. Within about one month, we sold out, with 1,000 riders, which is the most we ever had and we’re well on track to $1 million raised with about $800,000 currently raised, with two weeks left to go.”

Top donors were an anonymous contributor with $32,500, The McFarlane Family Foundation with $20,000 and ARON Industries with $10,010.00.

Top teams were Soul Pedaler with $58,707.10, Team BMO with $49,783.75 and Team Jack with $44.876.10.

Top Fundraisers were Michael Fitzhenry with $39,530, Eric Windeler with $36,692.00 and Dale Leeper with $15,603.00

“Jack.org is the only Canadian charity that trains and empowers young leaders to revolutionize mental health, which essentially means trying to create a country, where young people are comfortable talking about their mental health and understand how to recognize it if it’s them or their friends struggling and have access to the support they deserve, as they need it,” said Hayman.

Funds from fundraiser are directed to the four programs at the organization, Jack Talks, Jack Chapters, Jack Summits and Be There. They plan to eradicate suicide and bring awareness to mental health.

“The leading cause of death for young people is suicide, which is quite frankly completely unacceptable,” said Hayman. “Young people aren’t getting the help they need, when they need it, and we need to treat mental health like a right, and not a privilege. Right now, it is a privilege and it takes a significant amount of time, up to a year for some, depending where you are in Canada, to get professional help, when you need it.

“A lot of young people are only getting help, when they’re in absolute crisis and then, by that point, we’re reaching people too late,” said Hayman. “We’re doing what we can, at Jack.org, to ensure that young leaders have the tools to break down barriers in their communities to get involved and ensure our young people get the support they need, so we can try to break down barriers and decrease youth suicide in Canada because it is too high, alarming and it is a crisis and we need to recognize as that.”

Jack Talks is aimed at training young leaders. They go through 50 hours of training to become Jack Talk’s speakers and then go to different high schools and universities to deliver 15-minute mental health presentations to help people understand mental health and start a conversation to reach out to those struggling with mental health issues.

“We’ll deliver about 400 Jack Talks throughout Canada, reaching out to over 80,000 people in the audience,” said Hayman. “Those are always delivered by two young speakers. That starts the conversation.”

The second program is Jack’s Chapters. They go through a significant training and it’s less about public speaking and more so how to identify barriers with the community and ow to break those barriers.

“Once they build a plan to break those barriers down, we’ll work with them and make sure they’re attacking the barriers they’re hoping to see diminished and then they’ll work year-round to run initiatives to break those barriers,” said Hayman. “We have about 210-chapter programs across the country, in every province and territory.”

The third program is Jack Summits, that was derived from the national summit. They brought 257 leaders from every province and territory to Toronto, where they learned from each other and from people within this space who are solving problems in creative ways.

“They also collaborate on what they can do better, across the country and also how they can work better in their local markets, so they can have a greater impact,” said Hayman. “We have 29 regional summits across the country that are run by young people, bring people together within their regions. A typical summit will see one high school bring together all the high schools within the region that are doing work in mental health to talk to each other and learn from each other, for people in this space.”

Underpinning it all is a new program at the organization that launched on May 6 called, Be There. It can be accessed at www.jack.org or at www.bethere.org.

“Essentially, it’s a platform and resource for people to learn how to support people in their lives that are struggling with their mental health,” said Hayman. “We created it because we realized all these conversations is happening around mental health, within North America, in a really significant way, but people are waiting a significant time for the help they need professionally. Their friends or family or not educated on how to, Be There, for them and there wasn’t a resource to find that education. We created it.”

Riders will depart from Caledon Ski Club, at 17431 Mississauga Rd, just outside Belfountain, between 8 to 9:30 a.m. and make their way around town, sharing the road with vehicle drivers, until the event ends at about 1 to 2 p.m. Main roads include Mississauga Road (between King and Cataract Road, Main Street (from Queen Street to Orangeville-Caledon Townline) and Winston Churchill Boulevard (between Orangeville-Caledon Town Line and Olde Base Line Road) among many others.

There will be a road closure on Mississauga Road between Forks of the Credit Road and Cataract Road.

There will be four routes. The Jack 25, which is suitable for families and new riders. It features a hilly terrain, but is manageable for new and young riders. It will take about 1 to 2 and a half hours depending on individual pace.

The Jack 50. This is a reasonable challenge for youth, families and inexperience riders. It has some hilly terrain. It will take about two to four hours depending on individual pace.

The Jack 100 is for experienced riders. It is good for several pace groups. It has hilly terrain but is a good challenge for experienced riders. The route goes through the Badlands. It will take about four to six hours depending on individual pace.

The Big Jack is a 125-kilometre trek. This journey is for serious and experienced riders. It features a challenging pace and hilly terrain. The route goes through the Badlands and it will take about four to six hours to complete.

“It’s very much a community ride,” said Hayman. “We call it Canada’s Ride for youth and mental health with 1,000 riders coming together at the Caledon Ski Club and every rider is either doing 25 kilometres, 50 kilometres, 100 kilometres or 125-kilometre rides. It’s a great day in that it’s not a race, so the atmosphere is very community friendly and we’ll just get together for a good cause and have some fun.”

For more information visit jack.org/ride



         

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