A total of 188 registered riders raised close to $108,000 for Eden Mental Health as part of this year’s Head for the Hills event.
The 17th annual fundraiser saw the riders leave Colert Beach and ride to a location south of Old Mason School, a distance of about 36 kms.
While the numbers were below last year’s crowd of 220 riders, and funds did not approach the record of nearly $180,000, Eden Foundation Director of Development Earl Reimer said he was pleased with the event.
“This is something that is extraordinary for us,” he said. “It has been a well attended event increasing every year, (although) this year it stabilized. We are grateful that people continue to come back on a yearly basis.”
Reimer said this event is their most significant fundraising event of the entire year. “We’re grateful for the fact that there are many generous people in the community and communities,” he said. “Financially it’s very significant and it makes possible an awful lot of programs and an awful lot of services that are not part of our service purchase agreement with the government.”
Corporate donations also cover the cost of hosting the event.
“That’s an important component because, as a result, the money that people are giving to the riders is actually going to the work that Eden Health Care Services does,” he said.
A wide range of riders from children to senior citizens and from a variety of communities including cities, towns, villages and Hutterite colonies took part.
“Everyone is touched in some way by mental health questions and that happens across all sorts of socio economic backgrounds,” he said. “One in five people are affected by some sort of mental health question. This is a delight to see… all these various cultures that are coming together.”