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Paving the Way for Mental Health

The Aberdeen Health Foundation’s Sandbar Mental Health Endowment has received a major boost from the Nova Scotia Road Builders Association, with a donation of $80,000.

This donation was raised at the group’s annual fundraising auction in January and represents only the second time in the organization’s history that this figure was hit.

“The cause of mental health struck a deep chord and the members of our association opened up their hearts and their wallets with remarkable generosity. In reaching out for donations, some even opened up with their personal stories,” says Stephen Weeks of the Road Builders Association.

Weeks is humbled and awed by the support of the 165 member association, which he describes as made up of largely small, local, Nova Scotia owned businesses whose members support the event, both by donating items and then attending and bidding them up.

As the 2017-2018 President of the Association, Weeks was able to name the charity of his choosing. He began by speaking with a few friends and reaching out to the Aberdeen Health Foundation where his family has a long time connection. Weeks served on the board and his late father, Scott, was chair of the capital campaign that established the Foundation in 1986.

“I spoke with Susan (Malcolm) and Peter (Bennett) and they impressed on me how fundamentally different mental health care is. There is no $100,000 piece of equipment for treating this. It requires programs, outreach, and community-based support. That’s what Sandbar does.”

“Like so many families today, my own has been affected by mental illness. I have witnessed firsthand the struggle of accessing services and support through my wife, Elizabeth’s, 10-year journey with anxiety and depression. Truly, I didn’t know there was a way to support mental health right here in Pictou County, as soon as I learned of Sandbar, it was the clear choice.”

Speaking on behalf of the Aberdeen Health Foundation, Chairperson Jim Shaw expressed his gratitude to the Nova Scotia Road Builders Association. “This donation is a major boost to our Sandbar Mental Health Endowment. It means we can provide even more support every year for mental health programs in Pictou County and the innovative education and community-based support that is available here. Thank you to the members of the Road Builders Association for making such a great difference for mental health care in our community.”

Pictured L-R: Guy Kendziora, McAsphalt Industries Limited; Michelle Ferris, Aberdeen Health Foundation; Mark Underhill, President Nova Scotia Road Builders Association; Grant Feltmate, Executive Director Nova Scotia Road Builders Association; Peter Bennett, Aberdeen Health Foundation; Stephen Weeks, Past President Nova Scotia Road Builders Association; BJ Harvey, Battlefield Equipment Rentals; and Robyn Eaton, Aberdeen Health Foundation. With special thanks to BJ and Guy who were instrumental in the success of the auction.