Nambucca Valley City2Surf 2018 Team raise more than $13,000 for suicide prevention charity RUOK?

The Nambucca Valley City2Surf 2018 Team returned from their Sydney fun run with full hearts for the generosity of donations, which smashed their $10,000 fundraising target in support of suicide prevention. 

Proudly dressed in yellow and black, the team of Nambucca Valley locals hit the Sydney pavement on Sunday (12th) for the 14-kilometre City2Surf fun run.

They raised $13,564.71 and were also named number one top fundraising team for the RUOK? charity, Team co-ordinator Gemma Rostron said. 

“We had so many businesses donate to this amazing cause. It’s really amazing to see so many locals support this great cause. I think we have started something truly special,” Gemma said.

“Not many people know this... RUOK? charity, based in Sydney, has only a staff of eight,” Gemma said.

“Eight beautiful dedicated people with a massive task! They are all amazing. We can’t thank them enough for raising awareness. 

In October this year the RUOK? charity will be visiting the Nambucca Valley to arrange an ambassador in this area – an exciting development for the team who are passionate about suicide prevention awareness. 

Weekend highlights

For Gemma, the highlight of the trip was being there with “such an amazing bunch of people” and taking on the challenge as a team.

“They are inspiring role models. I look up to all of them,” Gemma said.

“The run is so inspiring to many, we came across an older lady (looked to be in her 70s) – she told us it was her 39th City2surf. Can you believe that?” 

“Danny Doolan running alongside his beautiful daughter Tarra was also a highlight for me. I hope to run it with my two daughters one day,” Gemma said.

Team member Danny Doolan said he was truly proud of his running companions and what they had achieved as a team under the organisation of their ‘skipper’ Gemma.

“I don't use the word ‘Legend’ very often but this team are all ‘Legends’ in the true sense of the word. So proud of each and everyone of you!” Danny said. 

Danny said taking part in the City2Surf was an incredible experience. He credited his daughter Tarra for getting him through the course – dragging him “up heartbreak hill and pushing me all the way to the finish line”.

Remembering those loved ones lost 

Many team members were running on Sunday in support of someone they love who has struggled with depression or severe anxiety.

For Nambucca’s Elisse Chapman the day was about remembering her friend Natasha Provost-Spicer.    

“Our dear friend Nat lost her struggle with depression two years ago.

“Nat was caring, had a special ability to connect with people and was great fun to be around.

“Each day her family and friends live with a gap in their lives that they are still trying to understand.

“Supporting ROUK is one way that we can contribute to the great work they do - sharing their powerful message in the hope that others can be spared from the consequences of suicide.”

Elisse said the team was so thankful for the Valley’s support and donations.

“Suicide affects way too many of us! Our beautiful friend Natasha Provost-Spicer you are so loved and so missed!,” Elisse said.

“A massive thank you to everyone who has donated and sent messages of support to me and the RUOK? Nambucca Valley team.

“We couldn't have asked for a better team and we are all so proud of each other. Together we raised over $13000 for RUOK? and also made some amazing memories!” Elisse said.

It’s OK not to be OK, help is available

The money raised will help fund more resources for the R U OK? charity to dig deeper into bringing awareness and prevention of suicide, Danny said.

“Just a simple pat on the back, a five-minute phone call or a genuine ‘G'day’ can mean so much to someone.

“This will not just help your mates, but everyone’s mates! 

“Kristina Lawrence heads a small team in Sydney for RUOK? foundation, who do amazing work for suicide prevention and awareness. Give them a call if you need them or have any suggestions for them!

“Thank you so much Nambucca Valley and please remember, it’s OK not to be OK,” Danny said.

Head to the RUOK? website for information on how to help get a caring conversation started.

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