As our community moves through the Covid-19 pandemic and adapts to many changes around us; it is also a time to accept that some things didn’t change. And that is, that it is still OK TO NOT BE OK. Maybe now, even more than ever…

In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, stress, anxiety and psychical distancing, we all need connection to and support from our community like never before.

Ev Eijsermans and Strahan Loken teamed up for Elk Valley Mental Health on Solstice 2020, hoping to shine a light on Mental Health Awareness in the Elk Valley. On the longest day of the year the plan was to ride from sunset till sunrise. The challenge was to follow Strahan’s adventure and donate $1 per every 100m of vert he would manage to bike throughout the day.

Strahan rode the whole day for a total of 4,105 meters. Ev and a group of others rode various trails throughout the day to support him.

Strahan said, “This Summer Solstice, we rode from 5am (sunrise) past 10pm (sunset)! The trails included Slunt, P9, Eric’s, Southern Comfort, Hyper, 48hrs, 3Kings, Blue Matador, Swine, and Sidewinder. If this is a cause you’d like to support we’d appreciate small donations (even $5 helps). Proceeds raised will go to the local Elk Valley Suicide Task Force for a video project highlighting the local resources our valley has to offer in light of Suicide Awareness, prevention & support.”

Ev commented, “Not even sure where to start; as I’m still buzzing from yesterday. What started as a little bit of a last minute idea, came together as an amazing community event. Bikes were ridden from sunrise till sunset, we brought people together, raised $$ for the Elk Valley Suicide Task Force & had conversations about Mental Health together. I can’t thank you enough Fernie, for having this conversation with us – and for all the support around this – most likely now annual – event. Thank you SO much to everyone that donated, came out to bike a stage with us & all the positive stoke & feedback!”

The money raised will go to the local Elk Valley Suicide Task Force and will used for a video project. In light of Covid-19 the Task Force is unfortunately not able to bring the community together for another information-evening. Instead, an information-video will be created, highlighting all the resources our Valley has to offer in regards to suicide awareness, prevention & support.

Because now more than ever, we need to show that – even when we’re physically distant – no one should have to struggle alone.

Donations still welcome – the Gofundme fundraiser is open until Friday June 26th.

For more information or questions on the Elk Valley Suicide Task Force, please email them at elkvalleystf@gmail.com

Photos/Video: Troy Nixon & Facebook

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