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Clara's Big Ride is ready to roll

Crowsnest Pass slipped into high gear as committee members welcomed six-time Olympian Clara Hughes to town.

On March 14, Clara's Big Ride hit the road as Clara set out on her epic journey across Canada in support of mental health.

Over 110 days, Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk will visit 95 communities in all territories and provinces for a total of 12,000 kilometres.

More than 200 events are planned across the country and Crowsnest Pass is proud to be a host community working with Clara to celebrate mental health initiatives and raise awareness to end the stigma around mental illness.

Clara is one of only four athletes in the world to win medals at both the winter and summer games and the only athlete in history to win multiple medals at both. But there's far more to her than athletic achievement and now she's using her voice to reach out and help others.

Clara has been sharing her own past struggles with depression and as the official spokesperson for the Bell Let's Talk mental health initiative, she's eager to begin her journey.

“After months of preparation and anticipation, I can't wait to get on my bike and meet Canadians everywhere to talk about mental health. Together, we can achieve a stigma-free Canada,” said Clara. “Mental illness is part of everyone's life in some way, and talking openly about it tells those who struggle that they shouldn't fear seeking help. Beating the stigma is the biggest step we can take in moving Canada's mental health forward. So I'm eager to share my mental health story with you and hope to hear yours.”

The kick-off event in Crowsnest Pass is on May 28 as Clara and her team ride into town. Everyone is invited to welcome Clara to the community and celebrate her arrival. This takes place at Gazebo Park at approximately 4:45 pm.

Later that evening, a fundraising event will be held at the Crowsnest Curling Club featuring guest speaker Craig Heisinger, Assistant GM with the Winnipeg Jets, and an auction with items such as a limited-edition NHL autographed jersey, and other memorabilia autographed by Clara.

“PuPus in the Pass” is a Hawaiian-themed event to “poo-poo” the stigma attached to mental illness and will include appetizers and a no-cash bar. Tickets are $25.

At 7:30 pm, the public is invited to the Coleman Sports Complex to celebrate local champions in mental health followed by Clara as the keynote speaker. This event is free and everyone is welcome.

The next morning on May 29, Clara and her team will host an event at Crowsnest Consolidated High School for students of the Pass.

Afterwards, Clara hops back on her bike to carry on with her journey – next stop, Calgary.

For more information about joining the conversation on social media using #ClarasBigRide, attending a community event, supporting your local mental health organization, or helping to raise funds, visit Bell.ca/ClarasBigRide.

For information about the Crowsnest Pass events, contact John Redekopp at 403-651-4142 or redekjo@gmail.com.

 

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Community Events, July 2014

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