Over the last few months the Lennox Head Golden Oldies have been defying their motto of mediocrity and putting in some stellar community service. Not content with running raffles every Friday they were propelled by the suicide of one of their own (and too many more besides) and collectively decided that enough was enough.
In late October the Stags put on Are You Brave Enough? The event was a stunning success with 210 guests revelling in the superb atmosphere and fare afforded by Jo and her team at Seven Mile. Whilst sipping on Lou and Matt Wilson’s various Seven Mile Brews, patrons were treated to, at times emotional speeches from local boy Trent Chapman as well as international athletes Caitlin Thwaites and James Holbeck (not to mention brilliant local wit and Wave columnist John Peacock). Each shared stories of personal mental health journeys and rose to the challenge posed by the Are You Brave Enough?’ concept.
A great day, but as Tim Shaw said, ‘Wait, there’s more!’ Over $20,000 was raised through tickets, donations and a raffle. Yep, 20k in cold, hard cash! This money will give 150 people the chance to become qualified in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and perhaps help change the course of someone’s life.
Yet that wasn’t all either as Stag Dave, Adam, Rich and BG came to the stage to announce the rubbery concept of Chip Inn with Jase, a mobile van that, as well as selling quality hot chips, would also spread the mental health message and help those less fortunate in our community. It looked like Santa had come early as $50,000 was pledged to the idea.
The Stags put their hands up for $15,000 of that and were supported by a multitude of generous businesses and individuals. Absolutely gobsmacking!
The hard work has scarcely ceased since as the Chip Inn with Jase team unbelievably turned pledges into cash and then into a sumptuous, fur-lined, ocean-going food trailer. Under the hot Lismore sun Chip Inn was launched by Thomas George (who generously tipped in $20,000 from the State Government) at Eat the Street. Over 280kg of chips were cooked, dusted with salt or smothered in caramel (trust me, it works!) to begin what promises to be a very special journey.
The first cohort of students has also just undertaken and passed their MHFA qualifications with Trent and Steve Carrigh guiding them through a confronting but fruitful course.
If you would like to qualify as a mental health first aider or become involved in Chip Inn, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Courses are fully paid for by the Lennox Head Stags. All you need is time and passion. Check out Chip Inn with Jase on facebook.