Kelowna family ambassadors for the Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Ride

The McAlpine family will lend their voice to the ride after daughter’s suicide

A Kelowna family is lending their voice to an annual mental health ride as part of their continued work to honour their daughter’s wish to open up the conversation around depression and anxiety.

The McAlpine family lost their daughter, Georgia to suicide just before her 19th birthday.

“Her wish was that as a family we tell the truth about why she died,” said Cam McAlpine, Georgia’s dad. “She wanted us to talk about it so no one else would feel that taking their life is the only option.”

That’s why Cam and Jenny McAlpine are joining CMHA Kelowna’s The Payton & Dillon Budd Memorial Ride as Ambassadors for the 2019 event.

“We want to share Georgia’s story. We want to share her struggles, and our own struggles, with those who may be going through the same thing.”

The annual ride is a national event that encourages Canadians to come together to Ride Don’t Hide, bring mental health into the light and encourage people to talk. In Kelowna the ride is named after two local brothers who lost their lives to suicide.

READ MORE: Ending the stigma around suicide, loved ones speak out

CMHA Kelowna Executive Director Shelagh Turner says as a community we have to keep the conversation going.

“We have to talk about all aspects of this – mental health, mental illness, suicide – so that people don’t feel alone and aren’t afraid to say ‘I need help’ or ask ‘Do you need help?’,” said Turner.

The 2018 ride saw 500 riders, many with their own personal stories, raise $140,000 for CMHA Kelowna programs and services that help people of all ages live their best lives.

READ MORE: Battling winter blues, depression and SAD after the holidays

This year’s event takes place on June 23 at the ball diamond beside the Kelowna Curling Club.

Registration is now open and anyone who wants to take part will have the option of walking 4 kilometeres or 6 kilometeres or riding 6 kilometeres, 25 kilometeres or 50 kilometeres.

Anyone who joins the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation’s Budd’s 100 and agrees to raise a minimum of $100 will have their $40 registration fee automatically waived and their $100 in fundraising will be matched. As an added bonus, BNA Brewing Co. is also sponsoring the group with an additional $25. That’s $125 in matching funds for anyone you joins Budd’s 100.

To register for The Payton & Dillon Budd Memorial Ride go to www.ridedonthide.com/kelowna

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