Humber College’s Fitness and Health Promotion students organized a fundraising five-kilometre race last Thursday for Stella’s Place.
The start line for the 16th annual run and walk was alongside Parking Lot 4 and went through the Humber Arboretum.
Stella’s Place, a mental health service provider, offers free services to young adults between 16 and 29 years old, helping young adults develop skills, build connections with others, and feel empowered to manage their own mental health.
Emily Jarrett, one of the charitable partners from Stella’s Place, said she was feeling great about the event. She said Stella’s Place relies on events like it as it is fully dependent on private donations.
“We’re so grateful to Humber and the Humber community,” she said.
Jarrett said a part of this event is promoting physical and mental well-being.
She said it is important to know that physical and mental well-being are interlinked.
“By getting outside, by doing some exercise, and getting fresh air, those are all things that are really good for your mental health as well,” Jarrett said.
She said this event is great not only for promoting mental well-being but by promoting different sellers that were present in that event.
Stacey Gawrylash, one of the participating athletes, said she was very excited for this event.
Gawrylash, who has previously worked as a counselor navigator at Stella’s Place said she is always there to support the community which aims at promoting mental well-being.
“I am all about promoting a community who is willing to talk about mental health and de-stigmatize it,” she said.
She said events like these are very important especially for students because they go through mental hardships the most.
She said it is important for students to have these conversations about how they are feeling.
“Speaking from my own experience on the front line, as a counselor, a lot of our participants are students themselves, and they are struggling,” Gawrylash said.
She said most of the students going through these hardships feel like they are a burden, question their worth, and don’t access support in the first place.
“Events like this are so important to build the community that we’re trying to build in Stella’s place,” she said.
Guneet Kaur, a Fitness and Health Promotion student at Humber College, said it took 14 weeks to plan this event.
She said she is thankful to her professors who helped them in planning the event and bringing in all the sponsors.
“It is so exciting to see how this event turned out and we are thankful to everyone that participated,” she said.
Kaur said they have raised more than $3,000 for Stella’s Place.
Christina Di Vito, one of the student organizers of the run, said the event was successful as many people joined in the race.
“Everything is great, we got lots of runners and sponsors and everyone is happy,” she said.
The event was sponsored by Running Room and Planet Fitness.
Feraas Al-Shumari, a volunteer, said everyone who participated today has determination in them.
“I am here for the people who go through mental health problems,” he said.