Hillary's Ride makes stop at Trailside Cafe

Bo Ford
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Cyclists for Hillary’s Ride Sue Sohnle, Terry Fannon, Bill Werthmann and support driver Al Carlson enjoyed an afternoon of entertainment at the Trailside Café on Saturday, Werthmann performed a few songs as well.

Hillary’s Ride For Mental Health is more than just a group of cyclists crossing Canada to raise money for charity.

Organizers said they hope the ride not only raises funds but also public awareness about depression, suicide and other mental health issues.

The group, which includes three cyclists and a support driver, arrived on P.E.I Saturday and was treated to a concert hosted by Scott Parsons at the Trailside Café.

All proceeds from the concert were donated to the ride.

“It’s a real great cause and it’s a good thing to do, it’s nice to see everybody out,” said Parsons.

The ride started on May 8th, which marked the ten-year anniversary of Hillary Werthmann’s suicide.

Bill Werthmann, Hillary’s father, is one of the organizers and cyclists involved in the ride.

At the cafe, performers such as Morgan Hill, Bonnie LeClair and Jimmy Hornby took the stage. There was even a special performance when Werthmann himself took the stage.

Parsons said he has known Werthmann for a number of years and was glad to help out.

“When he told me they were coming I told him I would be happy to put something together, so here we are,” said Parsons

Hillary’s Ride is raising money for 18 charities across the country with P.E.I. being the 13th stop.

At each stop, Werthmann and his team of Sue Sohnle, Terry Fannon and support driver Al Carlson have been treated to a folk concert raising funds for the cause.

The idea of cycling across Canada and attending folk festivals started coming together eight years after Hillary’s passing.

“We decided after eight years of grieving and trying to figure out a way to make a difference based on a lesson my mother always taught me that something good comes from everything that happens,” said Werthmann.

They’ve biked through the Rocky Mountains and along Lake Superior and are now on red soil.

“By bicycle you taste it, you smell it and you see stuff that you’d never even dreamed of in a car. It’s a pretty amazing country,” he said. “ P.E.I. is gorgeous, I don’t know why anyone would want to leave.”

Werthman said the ride is not all about raising money, but also talking to people at the concerts who’ve lost a loved one or knows someone battling a mental illness.

“They tell us what we’re doing is giving them hope and that’s all we can ask for, if we can just make a slight difference in someone’s life that's what matters.”

Werthmann said the group should raise around $70,000-$80,000 and the experience has been amazing.

“To combine my love for the country, connection to folk music and new found love of cycling has been special, it’s all about making a difference.”

The partner charity for Hillary’s Ride on P.E.I. is Kids Help Phone.

To find out more about Hillary’s Ride you can visit the website at www.hillarysride.ca


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Recent comments

  • Nice to know
    July 09, 2013 - 13:22

    I know it is after the fact / but I am sure other readers will wonder the same thing. Where on good ole PEI is the Trailside Cafe? Or because you are a PEI journalist you expect everyone to know this?

  • This issue needs advocacy
    July 08, 2013 - 07:21

    There exists a condition not yet recognized within medical orthodoxy which lies at the route of many cases of treatment refractory, long term depression for which no current gen meds will work. The reason they will not work, is that the cause lies not in the Mono-Aminergic system, but in the regulatory system of endorphins. There xists a postulated condition known as engogenous depression endogenous opioid deficiency syndrome or Endorphin deficiency syndrome. The few studies which have been done have all pointed overwhelmingly at the incredible need for more research, yet there is none going on, and the condition is relatively unknown, though doctors are aware of it in the back of their heads. We all have a system in our bodies which is responsible for providing our bodies with endorphins, dynorphins and enkephalins. These peptides, which play an integral role in not only immune system function and pain management, also play a very important role in emotional well-being. A study done in 1995 at Harvard taking seven individuals with lifelong, treatment refractory depression for whom nothing had worked, including sometimes even ECT, were put on low doses of Buprenorphine, a synthetic opioid which acts as a partial agonist at the mu opioid recetors. Four showed complete remission of the depression, two showed vast improvement and one got worse. The conclusion drawn was the far more research needs to be done. However, stigma and ignorance seems to be stopping this, as well as I suspect, a concern about losing money on the part of big pharma. If you truly care about these issues, please do a bit of research in to this issue, as I can assure you from personal exerience, having run the gamut of conventional antidepressants, and having read the postulated symptoms for this disorder, it most certainly does exist. It only stands to reason that if we have a system in our bodies there can be a problem with it. Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome for opiates, which results when addicts of opiates quit and after their initial withdrawal, describes how I have felt my entire life, up until I tried low doses of opiates. It results from having too many receptors and not enough stimulating them. The fact that this condition is known to possibly exist, and despite every study done showing promise, has not been further researched and is relatively unknown is sickening and disheartening.