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PTSD Awareness Ride Makes Neepawa a Permanent Stop
After a huge reception on their first visit to Neepawa last year, the Rolling Barrage once again made the town a stop on their cross-Canada ride. The Barrage makes a 21-day journey across Canada each summer to bring awareness to PTSD in the military and first responders.
More than that, says Paul Harmon, CEO of The Rolling Barrage PTSD Foundation, the ride brings hope to people who may have been suffering alone or in silence. He cites at least five people he knows of who sought help as a direct result of last year’s ride. This is why, Harmon says, the journey is better described as a pilgrimage than a ride. Riders have the opportunity to open up to one another in an atmosphere where they share common experiences and traumas.
While some people do the “full pull”, or the complete ride from Halifax to Burnaby, others travel for just a portion of it. Riders are welcome to register for and join the ride at any stop along the journey and stay with the ride as long as they are able whether that’s for a few hours or a few days.
This year’s stop in Neepawa was hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23, where the riders pulled in just ahead of a rainstorm. They were greeted by Mayor McCutcheon who recounted his own biking days and commended the group for their commitment to mental health. Several quilted projects were donated by a Legion member to be distributed to the riders, and representatives of the Rolling Barrage received donations from the Brandon Fire Department, the Legion Ladies Auxiliary, and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23
Neepawa native Mark Goldade was MC of the Neepawa stop and serves as the Manitoba coordinator for the Rolling Barrage. So far, he says, they’ve raised over $10,000 in Manitoba alone - before the over $3,000 that was contributed in Neepawa. Anyone who missed the event can make contributions to the ride’s foundation through their website at therollingbarrage.com or bid on their online auction which runs through the end of the ride and contains items handcrafted by veterans and active duty military.
Both Harmon and Goldade confirm that the warm reception the Rolling Barrage receives in Neepawa has made the town a permanent stop on their ride itinerary for the coming years.
As Neepawa and area’s local access television station, NACTV has been serving the community since 1977. The station is a community-owned not-for-profit organisation that broadcasts 24 hours a day and reaches homes throughout Manitoba and Canada on Bell ExpressVu 592, MTS Channel 30/1030, and WCG 117 as well as streaming online at nactv.tv.
NACTV’s content is primarily filmed and produced by local volunteers and focuses on issues, activities, achievements, sports, and news by, about, and of interest to our community.
Neepawa is located in western Manitoba, about two hours west of Winnipeg and 45 minutes southeast of Riding Mountain National Park.