Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saint John Event

August 11
It rained all night - you'd almost think it was a rest day, but no, today was a go, go, go day, all action, because that's just the way Patti is.

First thing, we were met at the campground by Gary who was there to do an interview for his radio show Outdoor Stuff, then we were met by some members of Patti's inner committee; Margaret, Nancy and Graham, and our riders for the day - Nelson and Mark again and Sylvio. We met Brenda on route. Nancy was to be my guide to help navigate the RV into our meeting place for lunch at the Reversing Falls. It's a wonder we got there, we were so busy chatting. What traffic circle? Never saw it.

We were hosted for lunch at the Reversing Falls Restaurant. It was a great chance to meet and thank all the folks that have worked so hard in Saint John to raise awareness and raise funds for mental health.In fact, for Patti and her committee, the event in Saint John today was Part II of their contribution to The Ride for Mental Health. Exactly one month ago they organized the Play Ball for Mental Health softball tournament. Sixteen teams signed up representing many companies and organizations from the community - even the City of Saint John entered a team. That's awareness - reaching a large audience.

After lunch (who doesn't love lobster rolls in New Brunswick?)we headed down to the boardwalk at Market Square in downtown Saint John for a great celebration. Mel and riders came into the packed square to applause and the racket of red and white thunder clappers. On stage the Sea Belles performed a lovely capella rendition of Rise Again, one of Lindsay's favourite songs. We were welcomed by representatives from the city, then Mel and The Ride were intoduced by Martin Chaisson and Ray Littlewood. After Mel and Lindsay spoke, a cheque for over $20,000 was presented to the local Canadian Mental Health Association. Terry McNeil, representing the CMHA was very appreciative of the donation. In this tough economy he said,they have been experiencing reduced funding and are having to cut much needed services for mental health consumers. The significant contribution today will go a long way to keep these programs operating.

There were representatives from the Schizophrenia Society and the provincial arm of the CMHA as well as a significant number of consumers attending the event. We had an opportunity to speak with many them and all expressed the importance of spreading awarenesss, reducing stigma and speaking up about mental illness. We can't be quiet anymore.

Overwhelmed and exhausted, we headed to our hotel, but the evening wasn't over yet. Yesterday, I had a little incident- an emergency, really. Not a surprise as these things seem to happen to me alot. No, not the RV, Greg. Actually, it was the laptop. Yup, the other night it got sat on and now we have a one of a kind permanent screen saver. Good thing Xerox is good at solutions - the best, actually. So Jon made a special after hours house call to deliver and set up an external monitor. We're a little late with the blog today, but at least I was able to sleep knowing we were back in business. Thanks everyone for the support on every front.


  1. It was a pleasure having your family here. You are a true inspiration and we all feel very fortunate to have been able to contribute to such a great cause!

  2. Thanks so much for everything you and your family have done - we are so appreciative of all of your support, and hard work!!
    Anita - CMHA