I am a life long resident of Red Deer and over my life span I have worked for a corporation, owned small businesses and been involved in several non profit boards. I have been married to my wife Cindy for 35 years and had 4 children, John my oldest then James, Stephanie and Lindsey. The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce has been my job for the last 14 years in my role as manager of membership & community relations. Our lives were turned upside down with the loss of our youngest daughter Lindsey.
Lindsey took her life 2 years ago at the age of 22 suffering from depression, an illness we never knew she battled. I have been down a road no parent ever wants to go down and on this journey I am trying to learn about mental health and depression. After Lindsey’s death Cindy and I started a self-directed endowment fund in honor of our amazing daughter.
November of 2015 we started Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation to raise funds for mental health in our youth. In the short 2 years the foundation has raised close to $250,000 from many fund raising events that have been created by our business community. We will continue to finance programs that will impact our youth that have suffered this illness alone because of the many stigmas surrounding this topic.
Recently we have given $10,000 to the Catholic Schools for mental Health First Aid and just yesterday donated $10,000 to public schools for resources to help students from K- Grade 5. I will continue to advocate the Government to implement and direct health care dollars to mental health.
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