Climb for Hope offers community, optimism for all Eagle County residents
After a challenging and isolating year, SpeakUp ReachOut and Eagle Climbing + Fitness are going forces to raise awareness around suicide and mental health.
Mental health and suicide have been rising in prevalence, not only across the country and state, but also within Eagle County. Which is why SpeakUp ReachOut, a nonprofit in the county, has set up to prevent suicide through awareness, training and most importantly, through hope.
Hope is also the driving force behind the SpeakUp ReachOut event at Eagle Climbing + Fitness this Saturday, June 19.
“If you have hope, you have something to hold onto,” said Donyelle Dewey, the training and awareness specialist for SpeakUp ReachOut. “Sometimes life is hard — for all of us — and we’ve seen that in different respects through the pandemic, but life provides its challenges and if there’s hope, hope is that reason to live.”
The event — appropriately named Climb for Hope — had its inaugural event in 2019, but was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, finding community and hosting events like this, according to Dewey, are even more important as we recover from the past 15 months.
“It’s getting people out to get together, especially after COVID and not being able to have that face-to-face connection with people all the time,” she said. “It’s time to — everyone has their different comfort levels and of course we honor that — but get back together as a community and that’s exactly what this event is for is to get back together. That connection is really important.”
With capacity restrictions lifted, Saturday’s Climb for Hope is for everyone. The event is a free event, with donations recommended, and will feature live music, food trucks, climbing and free root beer floats for the first 200 attendees.
In addition, the event will have a drawing where attendees can win prizes throughout the day — everything from SpeakUp ReachOut swag to gift cards from local businesses such as Alpine Lumber, Sundae’s ice cream, Riverwalk Theater and more. Attendees will be entered into the drawing based on donations and vertical feet climbed. Every $10 donated will count as an entry and every 400-feet climbed will be an entry.
The event is an opportunity — not only to spread awareness about SpeakUp ReachOut and what their organization does — but also to build community.
“Our motto is building strength in our community and we like to do so through all of the events that we are a part of. This is a big one, the Climb for Hope, we did it two years ago and weren’t able to do it during the COVID era, of course,” said Larry Moore, managing owner of Eagle Climbing, on Vail Daily Live on Tuesday, June 15. “That’s part of the reason we need to be raising awareness, we’ve got a lot of mental health issues in the valley and Speak Up Reach out is there to support our community and lend a hand to those who need it.”
Building community and connection is just one of the ways that Eagle Climbing and SpeakUp ReachOut align on values.
“We talk about a lot of self-care principles when we do our trainings and one of those things is staying active,” Dewey said. “Beyond the connection with people, it ties into the gym as far as being active, doing something physical and keeping our bodies healthy. The physical really ties to the mental, and if we can work to keep both pieces healthy, that helps in so many ways.”
Climb for Hope will take place on Saturday, June 19 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit speakupreachout.org.
SpeakUp ReachOut is an education and advocacy organization. For mental health crisis support, contact Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, Colorado Crisis Services by calling 844-493-TALK or text 38255 or visit speakupreachout.org/find-help for more resources.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at email@example.com.