Members of the Edmonton Sikh Motorcycle Club, pictured here, were out in full force for the 4th Annual Emily’s Memorial Ride for Mental Health Awareness, which took place June 1st in Sherwood Park.

In all, roughly 40 riders participated in this year’s event, raising almost $12,600. That pushed the cumulative fundraising total for the ride since it was launched in 2016 to more than $62,500.

CASA and CASA Foundation CEO Dr. Denise Milne (pictured at right) and Nadine Samycia, Executive Director, CASA Foundation (left), were on hand to cheer on the riders, who gathered at Wild Wings Restaurant before embarking on a six-hour round trip with stops in Camrose, Viking and Tofield.

CASA House Program Manager Janet Cathro, along with Rick and Stephanie Taylor also addressed the assembled riders. The Taylors founded the event after their 17-year-old daughter Emily took her own life in 2013, following a battle with depression.

“I think most people who come out for the annual ride have a personal story to tell, and as we all know, mental health affects all of us,” says Rick Taylor.

“You never know what someone is going through in their daily life. The big thing for us is just getting the word out and reducing the stigma around mental health issues.”

“It is heartbreaking when you see people who are suffering from these kinds of issues, who need support. So this is a good cause and a way to raise awareness about it,” says Saurab Vadhera, a member of the Edmonton Sikh Motorcycle Club. “That’s why we participate.”

Nadine Samycia, Executive Director CASA Foundation, Members of the Sikh Motorcycle Club and Dr. Denise Milne, CEO CASA and CASA Foundation