The wheels are in motion for the 2015 Hawaiian Ride for Youth on March 24 – 27. The Ride raises awareness and funds to allow youth suicide prevention not-for-profit Youth Focus to continue its life-changing work with young West Australians. Having raised $10.2 million since its inception in 2003, this year is set to be the biggest in the ride’s history, with two exciting new components: the addition of a third peloton which will cover the Wheatbelt area of WA, and the ‘CEO Challenge’. The fundraising target for this year’s Ride is $1.7million.

Held annually over four and half days, the Ride from Albany to Perth is a highlight on the Youth Focus calendar, and the 2015 Ride will be no exception with a record 145 riders and 40 support crew participating. They will visit 19 schools and cover more than 1,900kms across the three routes.

Taking the Ride through towns in the Wheatbelt like Katanning and Narrogin, the decision to add the new route came about because of a recognised need for youth mental health services in the area.

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Youth Focus CEO Jenny Allen said the extension of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth to the area will give young people the opportunity to be exposed to positive and educational mental health messages.

“Having recently visited the schools along the Wheatbelt route, I have seen how much opportunity exists to work with schools and complement the work they are doing with their young people,” Ms Allen said.

The school visits are an integral part of the 4 and a half day event, providing a way for the riders to connect with the students and inspire them with their own experiences and personal stories. This year more than 2500 students will take part in the presentations.

Another highlight of this year’s event is the CEO Challenge, giving CEOs and owners of companies sponsoring the Hawaiian Ride for Youth the opportunity to participate in the final leg of the Ride from Mandurah to Perth, together with the 145 Hawaiian Ride for Youth riders in to Kings Park.

Youth Focus is a not-for-profit organisation working from Geraldton to Albany and offering a range of mental health services and support for young people and their families in Western Australia. The organisation seeks to reduce suicide in youth and overcome issues associated with depression and self-harm. You can find out more about Hawaiian Ride For Youth or make a donation here.

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