A group of locals are about to embark on a long journey to help raise money for men’s mental health.
Maple Ridge resident Jaden Shanley and his girlfriend Grace Gosselin have been organizing an annual Movember Walk fundraiser for several years, where the two of them are joined by more than 30 of their friends as they travel 60 km in less than 24 hours.
Every year, the fundraising goal continues to grow, with thousands of dollars flooding in for the couple and their walking cohort.
At last year’s Movember Walk, a total of $4,630 was raised, smashing past the fundraising goal, which made Shanley bump up this year’s goal to $5,000.
“Last year was the biggest year for both fundraising and the number of participants,” said Shanley.
The walk takes the group from Maple Ridge to Coquitlam and back, with most of the 2022 walkers completing the full journey and a similar number expected to do it again this year.
To help them on their long adventure, the fundraising squad is being provided free sandwiches by The Original Lunch Doctor, which Gosselin explained is the perfect walking food and said they are very grateful for the support from their only sponsor.
“Without them, it would be difficult to manage the walk,” said Gosselin.
The couple also takes extra steps to help make the lengthy walk more tolerable for those involved, with Gosselin personally providing snacks and extra clothes to whoever needs them and will even open up her vehicle to walkers who reach their limit and are unable to finish.
Men’s mental health is a cause that is near and dear to both Shanley and Gosselin as they personally know several people who actively struggle with mental health issues.
“At the end of the day, everyone is going through something,” said Shanley. “I think this walk lets you know that you’re capable of enduring tough things.”
“It also helps to end the stigma around men’s mental health,” added Gosselin.
The walking group will head out at 5:15 a.m. and spend the entire day on their feet, finishing sometime that night after raising thousands of dollars for men’s mental health.