Enjoying the outdoors while increasing the community’s awareness of mental health issues are the goals of the ninth annual Beck Lake Challenge on Saturday.
Participants can walk, jog, dance or rollerblade, push strollers or ride bikes, for whatever distance they want, accompanied by their pets if desired, said organizer Marty Coe of the nonprofit Cody Medical Foundation. This year’s event, 9 a.m.-noon, is in honor of David Bank and Hank Coe.
From the pain of the loss of his brother David to mental illness, Jeffrey Bank offered this advice: “Take the time to ask how someone is REALLY doing and then listen to them ... be present for them.”
People can pay $10 per adult and $5 per child for a free lunch and other possible goodies. Those planning on eating should bring a chair.
“Everyone is touched, one way or another, by mental health issues, so we need to feel free talking about them,” Marty Coe said. “Everyone has a story to tell about mental illness. This event is an educational community service project to promote conversation and understanding as well as mental wellness, not a fundraiser.”
All ages are welcome. To register, visit codymedicalfoundation.org or pay at the registration booth near the Lions Park. In the past, Coe said, one event attracted 250 people, and she’d like to surpass that number.
At 9 a.m., Park County Animal Shelter volunteers will start walking with dogs available for adoption. Also at that time, people are welcome to join them or register, drink coffee and stretch. Walks of two different lengths will begin at 10 a.m.
The Challenge comprises one or two loops of the bike path, 2-4 miles, with Finishers’ Medals awarded. The Super Challenge runs three-plus loops of the bike path for more than 6 miles, with Finishers’ Medals and Special Prizes for the first 50 participants.
The first 150 registrants will receive goodie bags. Prizes will also be presented.
Lunch will begin at 11:30 and feature hamburgers cooked by three Cody Medical Foundation trustees – foundation president H.R. Coe, Mayor Matt Hall and county commissioner Joe Tilden. The foundation’s Vital Signs committee members will serve the picnic.
Lunchtime speakers will be Lorraine Steppe from The Pines Counseling and state Rep. Michelle Rodriguez-Williams (R-Cody) who will report about the mental health bills considered during the recent legislative session.
If you go
What: Beck Lake
When: 9 a.m.-noon
Where: Beck Lake
Cost: $10 per adult, $5 per child