Mental health Fun Run a success once again


Miles for Mental Health beats last year’s records

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Photo by Cassandra Wehrhahn

Left to right: Miles for Mental Health commitee members Claire McCannell, Sherri Smelski, Diane Martin, Jodi Byram, Sherri Hollier, Mark Perrett, and Tammy Dudenhoffer with speakers Barbara Reid and Craig Heisinger (front).

By Cassandra Wehrhahn

Neepawa Banner & Press

On Sunday, Aug. 19, community members and people from further away were running for a cause.

Miles for Mental Health held their second annual Fun Run event, starting in the early morning hours. Committee members and volunteers set up tents for registry and food, laid down cones to guide participants along their routes, inspirational signs containing encouragement and jokes along the paths, and set up tables while the local band Lunch Money tested audio levels of their instruments and microphones.

This year’s results

This year’s event was centered around the mental health of youth, with a route that featured a couple hills symbolic of the uphill battle mental health issues present. Beating last year’s record of 88 participants, this year the committee came close to their goal of 100 participants with an official count of 91.

“More would have been wonderful, but we were extremely pleased with the turnout,” stated Miles for Mental Health committee member Diane Martin. “It was great that several people came just to listen to Barb and Craig’s speeches.”

Barbara Reid and Craig Heisinger, Assistant General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations for the Winnipeg Jets, were introduced in turn by Don Walmsley who lead the proceedings. Reid and Heisinger delivered emotionally powerful speeches that addressed their personal encounters with mental health issues. The speeches revealed the poor portrayal of mental health by media, the stigma of mental health issues in society, and how poorly those in the society as well as the healthcare system handle mental health issues. Both speakers called for change, hoping to inspire others and bring awareness.

“The speeches were powerful,” said Martin, who then summarized the event in a few words. “This year’s event contained a great balance of fun, education, entertainment and support.”

Words of support

Martin also elaborated that Miles for Mental Health has received a number of comments indicating that people are very supportive of what they are trying to accomplish.

Door prizes were given and a jersey were raffled off at the event as well, the winning ticket being selected by Heisinger. The furthest away location for a participant was a couple from Florida. Runners and walkers were provided with fresh muffins, danishes, coffee, juice, and fruit to refuel.

Though the Banner & Press could not receive a quote on the amount of money raised, Martin divulged that the amount raised definitely exceeded last year’s.

The Miles for Mental Health committee and volunteers would like to extend their thanks to their sponsors, the participants, families, and others present for showing their support.


The event was sponsored by the Rotary Club, Neepawa Lionelles, Venus Hair & Body Care - Kelsey, Lori and Tammy; Herbs for Health, Gill & Schmall Agencies, It’s Time Fashion & Gifts, Provost Signs, Giant Tiger, Safeway, Team Electronics, The Farmery, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, Diamond Waterworks, Neepawa - Gladstone Co-op, Dairy Queen, Neepawa Chiropractic Centre, Neepawa Ford, Arts Forward, Brews Brothers, Promo Time, Tammy Atkey Massage Therapy, Pamper Yourself, KX Designs, Scotty Gower Agency, Harris Pharmacy, Jennifer Davie Esthetics, and RBC Neepawa.