August19 will provide Ceduna with an interesting site for motoring enthusiasts as up to 70 motorcycles of all shapes and sizes converge on Ceduna, travelling from Western Australia to Alice Springs, as part of The Black Dog Ride to the Red Centre.
In 2009 Steve Andrews completed the inaugural Black Dog Ride solo, spending a week in the saddle to generate awareness around depression and suicide prevention, and provoke healthy conversation around these topics within the local and wider communities.
To date the Black Dog Ride organisation has raised in excess of $800,000, with all funds going to two worthy recipients, Mental Health First Aid Australia and Lifeline Australia.
Lifeline utilises their share to assist in building their Online Crisis Support Chat service.
With six Australians taking their own life every day, this is a very worthy cause.
Understanding the importance of the message the Black Dog Ride wants to convey, local motorcycle group the West Coast Riders have put a team together who are joining the Western Australian riders and then participating in the ride to Alice Springs.
Local residents joining the Black Dog Ride are Mark ‘Seagull’ Lee, Hans von Ohle and Grant Cotton from Smoky Bay.
Robert Richards, Shane Cotton and Troy Herrmann from Ceduna and surrounds. Finally Rick Matthews, David Pittaway and John and Vicki Coulls from Eba Anchorage, Haslam and Wudinna respectively.
Not to be left out, June Matthews, also from Eba Anchorage, will be following not too far behind on four wheels ready to offer moral support.
John Coulls from Wudinna has set up an official fundraising page through the Black Dog Ride website, details of how to get to the page will be at the end of this article with other important information.
Donating is safe and simple with Paypal and other secure payment methods being made available.
With suicide being the leading cause of death of Australian men under 44 years of age and women under 34, organisers believe help is needed now.
Registrations are now closed for the 2013 Black Dog Ride to the Red Centre, but their website has details for upcoming rides.
The organisation is currently in the planning stage of next year’s Australian circumnavigation by motorbike ending at Parliament House.
If next year’s ride seems a little too intense or too far off and you desperately need a fix of bikes and like minded good charitable people, you can get involved with the West Coast Riders' 2013 Toy Run culminating in the first Smoky Bay Blues, Bike and Car show to be held on November 2 at Marilyn's Country Music Muster site.
More details will be released closer to the event or you can contact Mark ‘Seagull’ Lee for more information on 0488 103 419.
You can help John make a difference and visit his fundraising page at https://redcentre2013.everydayhero.com/au/john-1.
Additional information can be found at the following websites; Black Dog Ride at http://www.blackdogride.com.au/ , Lifeline Australia at www.lifeline.org.au and Mental Health First Aid at www.mhfa.com.au.