Jun 11, 2018 | By: Anthony Scott

One Million Meters Rowed, Over $30,000 Raised for Depression Awareness

Mental illness and depression are popular topics of conversation right now with the recent passing of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain. Over the weekend, the Crossfit Grow in Baxter was raising money for depression awareness in a unique way.

“This is just something anyone can do, and it’s fun,” David Quisberg, Million Meters Row event organizer, said.

Rowing machines were running all day outside of the Crossfit Grow in Baxter as part of the Million Meters Row challenge. Individuals and teams were rowing with one common goal in mind.

“To bring awareness to mental illness and depression, and just the stigma that people have around that, and just get rid of that,” Quisberg said. “It’s time to get it out in the open, and you need to talk about it.”

The goal was for teams to collectively row one million meters. That’s about the distance from Baxter to Kansas City.

“It’s awesome. It’s awesome to see the community come together and get behind a cause like this,” participant Scott Snyder said.

It was twenty dollars to rent a machine, and then teams also did fundraising, with all proceeds supporting Northern Pines’ “Zero Suicides” initiative.

“Zero Suicides” is an evidence-based program that will train and educate people on the warning signs of suicide, and also how to persuade someone to seek help,” said Laura Vaughn, Northern Pines Mental Health Executive Director.

It’s a cause that personally affected Quisberg for over twenty years.

“It doesn’t have to hold me down,” Quisberg said, “I want other people to know that, too – especially the young kids that seem like they might be trapped or lost, this is a great way to talk about it, and know there is a way out.”

Hundreds came to Baxter for Million Meters Row, raising over $30,000 for Northern Pines and depression awareness.

“Mental illness is not a choice, just like any physical ailment. We want to make sure folks know that it’s okay, and that there’s no shame in asking for help,” Vaughn said.

This was the first Million Meters Row event, and although they came up a little short of their goal, Quisberg wants to expand on their success next year.

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