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SOME of the keen local walkers gearing up for this year's Walk Away Your Worries are (front from left) Debbie Black, Trevor DalBroi, Ruth Downs, Wynita Donetto, Ian Carter, (back) Jenny Hill, Noeline McCudden, Alan Barton, Tenille Scarfone, Karen Woolnough, Raeleen Ceccato, Anne Marie Davis and Kim Clifford.

 

Griffith businesses join hands
to walk away worries

LOCAL business will step up to raise money for a good cause this month in Griffith. The second Walk Away Your Worries charity walk will see 23 staff members from different businesses take to the streets armed with buckets to raise funds for the Griffith Suicide Awareness group.

Organiser and president of Griffith Suicide Awareness Val Rowe said this year's group of keen volunteers will walk 20km inside the city zone starting at the Griffith Aquatic Leisure Centre on Sunday, September 24.

"This event is a lot of fun and allows businesses to not only help raise funds but awareness for an illness that affects so many," she said.

"Last year opened quite a few eyes. Many of the participants were not aware that so many of their clients have been affected by depression. This walk is just another way we can break down barriers and remove the stigma of mental illness."

Last year's inaugural walk raised more than $14,000 for the support group. Bendigo Bank business banking manager Craig Tilston said he considered it a privilege to be involved in an event that has the ability to make such a difference.

"I just think people need to be made aware that suicide can affect anybody," he said. "It's a great thing to be a part of to help raise awareness in the community. They did a great job last year and it's an honour that I'm actually looking forward to, but as far as my chances of winning, let's just say if I get across the line I'll be happy."

Funds raised from this year's Walk Away Your Worries have been earmarked for the Soup Kitchen, Seminars, the annual Christmas Tree, and other ongoing projects that help the community.

Story by Tanya Pattison, The Area News, Monday September 4 2006.

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WALK Away Your Worries participants, (front, from left) water girls Vanessa Scarfone, Val Rowe, Melissa Barton and some of the eager walkers (back) Kate McAuliffe, Karen Dillon, Craig Tilston, Keith Rennie, Anita Tresise, Jackie Olaman and Judi Norman.

Residents walk for awareness

STAFF members of local businesses are limbering up for the second Walk Away Your Worries charity walk being held this weekend in Griffith.

The 20km walk inside the Griffith town zone, in support of the Griffith Suicide Awareness Group, will see 23 participants step out to raise funds and community awareness.

The brightly clad team will get an early start to fundraising this year when they take to Griffith's main street, armed with buckets on Saturday morning from 10am to 11am.

The walkers dressed in fluoro green will also set off this Sunday, September 24 from 9am at the Griffith Aquatic Leisure Centre. President of Suicide Awareness Val Rowe urged the community to support the army of keen walkers. "They are all geared up and ready to go," Mrs Rowe said.

"It is fantastic that so many businesses are willing to support this really worthy cause. I'd urge people to be generous when they see the walkers on Sunday because you just don't know when mental illness might touch your family."

Mrs Rowe said while the idea of the walk was to raise vital funds for the community, the awareness it's raised so far had been a real bonus.

"It's a way to break down the terrible stigma that exists. I know a lot of businesses have commented they are now more aware how many local people are affected by being involved," she said.

"For an event like this to create so much awareness can only benefit the whole city. "

First walker past the finish line on Sunday will be rewarded for their efforts as will the business that raises the most money.

"If people see them, don't be afraid to say hello and toss them a coin," Mrs Rowe said.

Story by Tanya Pattison, The Area News, September 22 2006.

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Walking for a good cause

Twenty three fluorescent green walkers raised money for suicide awareness last Sunday when they trudged twenty kilometers in 50km per hour winds.

Participants from local business houses and one community walker from Leeton raised money through sponsorship as well as asking the general public to assist by coffing up some change.

Organiser Val Rowe says this year there were more participants and the money raised will be used to help those suffering a mental illness, by supporting the Soup Kitchen at the Griffith PCYC on Friday evenings or through seminars.

Story by Riverina Real Estate News, September 28 2006.

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FIRST over the line of the 23 walkers who braved the windy conditions on Sunday for the Walk Away Your Worries charity walk are Ian Carter, Tenille Scarfone and Alan Barton.

Charity walk volunteers brave wind

ACHING muscles, blisters and gale force winds that whipped up on Sunday did not deter this year's keen group of Walk Awary Your Worries participants.

The charity walk for the Griffith Suicide Awareness group attracted 23 staff members from local businesses willing to walk around the city raising awareness and money.

Although walker Debbie Black, who works at Central Service Station, pulled up sore and sorry, she said she was proud to have been involved in the event.

I've got very, very sore legs, back and shoulders from carrying the bucket full of money, but we all had a great time," she said.

"I wasn't confident I'd make it but I'm proud to have participated. I was very surprised at how generous people were too, especially when you consider the drought is hitting so hard, " Mrs Black said. She said the headwinds made the 20km trek pretty hard going.

"Walking into the wind did make it hard but the big pats on the back we got from people as they dropped their money made it worthwhile," she said.

"The best thing about it all has been the way it's made a lot of people more aware of the need for counselling and that there is a big problem with suicide in this town."

Griffith Suicide Awareness president Val Rowe said the amount raised from street collections on Sunday totalled more than $800.

"I've never seen a team so full of energy," she said.

"Considering the weather on Sunday I think the atmosphere and awareness the walkers created was brilliant."

Story by Tanya Pattison, The Area News, Friday September 29 2006.

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GRIFFITH Suicide Awareness president Val Rowe congratulates top fundraiser Craig Tilston

City walks away worries

DESPITE the drought hitting hard, Griffith residents have managed to raise an incredible $22,000 during the Walk Away Your Worries day held in Griffith last month.

The 20km walk was in support of the Griffith Suicide Awareness Group, and the final figure was revealed at the Victoria Hotel where winners were named and recognised for their efforts.

The charity walk saw 23 staff members from local businesses take to the roads around the city to raise the funds, which will be used to support sufferers of mental illness. Griffith Suicide Awareness Group president Val Rowe called the support shown by the community for the event "unbelievable".

"It was a fantastic fundraiser; the participants all thoroughly enjoyed the walk and the Griffith community are the real winners," she said. "I think suicide is a subject that is really starting to get the exposure it needs and this result shows people obviously want to do something to help."

Raising more than $3000 from sponsorship, Bendigo Bank's Craig Tilston was named the highest fundraiser, and was presented a coffee maker for his effors, while the first three over the line, Tenille Scarfo, Alan Barton and Ian Carter all donated their prizes back to be used for the upcoming Our Youth, Our Future Christmas Tree.

Each walker was presented a participation certicate and $1750 was handed over to the newly formed group, the Griffith Community Chaplaincy.

The money will be used to purchase reflector jackets for use by the support group, which is an initiative of the Griffith Christian Churches Association.

"We will be a community based chaplaincy service that will provide counselling and support from the whole community and are hoping to start in the New Year," Baptist pastor Kevin Webb said.

Story by Tanya Pattison, The Area News, November 8 2006.

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PO Box 8039, Griffith
NSW 2680, Australia