Club sells steer for Canadian Mental Health Association
Friday, May 17, 2013 03:53 pm
The Airdrie 4-H Beef Club is hoping to raise awareness and dollars for mental health.
Throughout the province, 4-H beef clubs rotate the responsibility of raising a steer to be auctioned off for charity during the annual 4-H on Parade event held at the Calgary Stampede grounds June 2.
“There are eight or nine clubs so Airdrie hasn’t had the chance to do this for eight years or so,” said president Kale David who said the current club members, all 23, weren’t involved the last time it was the Airdrie club’s turn.
Members had to decide where to donate money. The club is choosing the Canadian Mental Health Association.
“It can be difficult to talk about,” said club member Katie Hillson of mental health. She championed the idea and said she knows friends who suffer from mental health disorders.
“If we can raise more awareness hopefully we can bring these stats down.”
Her mother, Joan Hillson, a clinical psychologist said one in five Canadians experience mental health conditions and for youth, one in seven will be diagnosed with a mood disorder such as depression. She said if you add statistics on anxiety, a prevalent disorder among teens, that number is even higher.
“Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth,” she said explaining that car crashes are number one.
“We do a lot to talk to our kids about safe driving and to avoid getting into a car with a drunk driver, but we don’t talk about suicide enough with our youth.”
Club members said they are hoping to raise between $5,000 and $8,000 at this years’ 4-H on Parade charity auction, slated for June 2 at 11 a.m. but said the sky’s the limit.
Brooke Sinclair, secretary for the club, said they started raising the steer in February when it was just under a year old.
“Steve (Sinclair), Isabelle (Sinclair) and I have been grooming him monthly for the 4-H on parade,” she explained.
The steer was raised at the Sinclair residence, located east of the City of Airdrie.
Steve Sinclair said the steer is fed twice a day with grain, hay and salt. He said they also have to tie him up a couple of times a week to halter break him so they can lead him around in the parade.
“I think this has been a great way for the kids to support and give back to the community,” said Carol Sinclair, one of the 4-H mothers.
For more information on the upcoming 4-H on parade, search “agricultural events” at www.calgarystampede.com