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