The final count is in for Gunnedah’s mental health fundraiser – and it’s a whopper.

Gunnedah Health and Fitness Co last year hosted a fundraising event – Keepit Commando – a mud-run and obstacle course held at Lake Keepit. 

The fun run aimed to open the conversation and create more awareness in the community about mental health, while also raising funds for the important cause. 

Organiser Maryanne Perkins set an initial fundraising target of $10,000 for the event but was blown away by the response from supporters, sponsors and participants. 

“We ended up with a final profit of $19,000 which smashed our original goal,” she said.

“We are beyond stoked with how it went … we have received lots of positive feedback from the 100-plus participants.”

All money raised will support the local headspace centre which provides early intervention mental health services for 12-25-year-olds – helping them get them back on track and strengthening their ability to manage their mental health in the future.  

Maryanne said the charity held a special significance for the Gunnedah Health and Fitness community.

“We chose headspace because we have a lot of mental health clients and two client families directly affected by suicide in the last year,” she said.

The event itself tested the endurance and stamina of mud-runners who clearly thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the activity.

“We designed a 7.5km event made up of a 4.5km trail run with team challenges on the way, followed by a 3km obstacle course … the aim was to include essential elements of mental health management – exercise, being outdoors, connection and community,” Maryanne said.

“The most memorable part of the event was the camaraderie and happy community vibe. 

“Everybody helping each other out through the obstacles and just enjoying being together in the outdoors with no mobile phones.  

“Every photo we got back has people smiling.

“We are so very thankful to everyone that came and supported the event and particularly to our sponsors.

“We are currently holding discussions with professionals and families that have been affected by mental health to decide which way we want headspace, through Centacare, to use the money.”

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