Thousands raised for youth mental health
Maple Ridge News - 2/14/2019
More than $100,000 was raised for youth mental health programs in the community on the weekend.
The For The Love Of Youth fundraiser raised $139,000, to be matched by the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation.
"We sold 211 tickets," said Dr. Ursula Luitingh, one of the first clinic doctors to work for the Youth Wellness Centre since its inception, now known as Foundry Ridge Meadows.
There were performances by students from Garibaldi secondary and Samuel Robertson Technical.
Garibaldi secondary student Maaya Peschin played acoustic guitar and her brother Monish Peschin, Grade 6 at Harry Hooge elementary, played piano.
The Maple Ridge secondary choir, directed by teacher Melanie Scarcella, gave a performance.
Reed Taylor, a Grade 11 student at SRT, finished the student performances.
"She gave a very nice shout out to youth and told how she has struggled herself with mental health," said Dr. Luitingh.
"How she could never handle loud voices and now she is able to be onstage and perform. It was very nice," added Luitingh.
The emcee, Nira Arora, Virgin Radio morning show host, was inspirational, said Luitingh.
Child and youth psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Chow talked about how when he meets children and their parents he gives them hope because he believes in the youth of today. He thinks that they are inspiring and well-informed, innovative and a great generation to work with.
There were stilt walkers and a live red carpet person greeting you at the door.
All the servers were volunteer students ranging in age from 16 to 24.
There was also a cupcake competition between Thomas Haney, Garibaldi, SRT and Maple Ridge secondary.
Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D'Eith and Laura Butler, with the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation, judged the cupcakes and the winner for both presentation and taste was Garibaldi secondary.
All money raised is going to the Youth Wellness Clinic towards its continuing services.
"It inspired me to know that the community whether it's business partners or families and people living here, that people are more aware of mental health at the moment," said Dr. Luitingh.
"But also the importance of supporting the youth with their mental health challenges," she added.
"People were very generous and giving. That's amazing."
• Donations are still being matched atfortheloveofyouth.org.