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Gunnison Valley Health Foundation and Trek for Life Join Forces to Raise Awareness About Suicide

The Gunnison Valley Health Foundation (GVHF) is pleased to announce a new partnership with Trek for Life and Founder Paul Uhl. Effective May 1, 2022, GVHF began serving as the fiscal sponsor of Trek for Life, an effort initiated in 2019 to raise awareness of and lead the fight against suicide.

Trek for Life and Pedal Your Butte-Off! are annual fundraising events that raise awareness of suicide, work to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health illness, stimulate a dialog through community education, provide mental health services for those who are underinsured, and spark new research that will provide a better understanding of the complex factors behind the high rates of suicide and mental illness among those living in high altitude communities.

Under this new partnership, GVHF provides administrative and programmatic support of Trek for Life fundraising efforts including accounting services, financial reporting, marketing and promotion of events and event support for the two events planned for September 16 & 17.

“The activities of Trek for Life fit well with the mission and goals of both the Gunnison Valley Health Foundation and the new GVH Behavioral Health Department. We are excited to build a partnership that results in more concentrated efforts to impact the stigma that is associated with mental illness and provide financial support to improve accessibility of mental health services for our community members,” stated Jenny Birnie, Executive Director, Gunnison Valley Health Foundation.

The 4th Annual Trek for Life on September 16 is a memorial hike over West Maroon Pass to honor Kyle Uhl who lost his life to suicide in Crested Butte in October 2018. Pedal Your Butte Off! is a costume, human-powered wheel event designed for the entire family in the Town of Crested Butte on the morning on September 17. This event is specifically designed to raise awareness about mental health issues and suicide prevention during September, Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month.

“We’re very excited about Trek for Life and Pedal Your Butte-Off!’s relationship with GVH as the benefactor of our fundraising efforts in Crested Butte,” stated Paul Uhl, Founder of Trek for Life. “We believe their commitment and resources will enable us expand our efforts to reduce the stigma associates with mental health, our fight against suicide, and to have a positive impact on the lives and health of those struggling in this community.”

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