By Christine Bryant
For Grove City Councilman Ted Berry, the pandemic emphasized the importance of connection, communication and community.
“We need each other,” he says.
So when a fitness challenge Berry was working on last year that would benefit organizations that offer mental health support was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Berry knew it was more important than ever to move forward with the challenge this year.
“We often ignore depression in ourselves and those we love because of the embarrassment of seeking help, and the confusion of not knowing where to turn – what feels safe and comfortable looks different to each individual – is why increasing support is so important,” he said.
Those who want to look for ways to stay healthy and active while supporting an important cause can join Berry for a new virtual fitness event called the “100 in 30 Challenge.”
During the month of June, participants are challenged to complete 100 miles across 30 days. The 100 miles can be completed by walking, biking, swimming, rowing or running.
Participants will receive an event shirt at registration and medal upon completion, Berry said.
“Participants get outside, get active and enjoy some friendly competition all while supporting programs to benefit suicide prevention,” the Ward 1 councilman said.
Participants are encouraged to wear their T-shirts during the challenge and post on social media to build awareness. Those wishing to compete for time in the different categories can report their times. Organizers will highlight top times and event photos on TedBerryEvents.com throughout the month of July.
Registration for the event, which is open to all ages, is now open.
All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation and Kaleidoscope, Berry says. The month of June is also Pride Month.
“The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation offers programs and assistance to anyone,” he said. “Kaleidoscope gives LGBTQ youth, or any young person, a place to get professional help and support.”
Berry says it’s critical that everyone is aware of what resources are available and how to access them, and hopes the fundraiser will become a national event someday.
“My goal is that it will inspire national awareness for two critical causes: suicide prevention and support for LGBTQ youth,” he said.
To participate in the “100 in 30” event, requested donations are $10 for those 13 to 18 years old, $20 for individuals 19 to 22 years old and $30 for participants 23 years and older. However, Berry says no one will be turned away from participating.
“We ask to donate what you can,” he said. “For those that cannot donate, just register. No one will be turned down.”
Last year, Berry pedaled almost 1,000 miles – something he says made him realize not only the many opportunities there are in Ohio for recreation, but also the problems this area faces.
“When you bike, it opens your eyes,” he said. “You see the beauty of Ohio, but you also see the poverty, the homeless and the lonely. If this event saves one life or creates a new friendship or relationship, then together we will have succeeded.”
For more information or to sponsor the “100 in 30” event, call (614) 309-0332 or email TedBerryEvents@gmail.com.