A new event promoting men’s health, the overdose crisis and “manly” fun is headed to Okanagan College next month.
About 200 men are expected at the first-annual MANifest Kelowna, a charity event set to generate a minimum of $30,000 for the work of two local charities, The Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna and Okanagan Men’s Centre.
“Today’s version of the ‘modern man’ has resulted in more confusion and less freedom for men to simply be men,” reads a press release from MANifest Kelowna.
“It’s time to help redefine tomorrow’s modern man and have important dialogue about the very real issues that men face in the pursuit of better health and well being. As men get healthier, everyone in relationships with these men will welcome improvements in their relationships. Tomorrow’s modern man needs to be talking about and find healing for his well being, and supporting those who do likewise.”
Organizers of this event say many Kelowna men are silently struggling with health and well being issues such as addiction and depression.
The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that by the time men reach 40 years old, half of them will have had or will develop a mental health problem. Approximately one-quarter of British Columbians will experience a mental illness this year.
“It’s critical that this conversation continues to help men come out of the shadows and discover they are not alone, and that life-changing help is available,” adds MANifest.
Event spokesman, Todd Ringness, said that months of preparations have resulted in a unique event that has evolved to meet the needs of Kelowna’s men and achieving the goal of better health and well being.
“We’ve seen similar events in the past, but MANifest Kelowna represents hope in a future where men are better at being men together,” said Ringness.
“MANifest Kelowna promotes good manly fun combined with new awareness and dialogue about the wellness challenges that many of us face on a daily basis.”
Upon arriving at MANifest Kelowna, men will gather at the Bacon and Beer Reception before a formal welcome by event organizers.
Food and beverage stations open at 4 p.m. and include offerings from Big Rock Brewery, Predator Ridge, Codfathers, Raudz Regional Table, Vice & Virtue Brewing Company, Truck 59 Ciderhouse, Freddy’s Microbrew Pub, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Two Rivers Meats, Forbidden Spirit Distillery Company and more.
Hosted learning tables will provide opportunities for attendees to learn and talk about wellness issues, including: addiction, depression, anxiety, stress, and suicide prevention.
“MANifest men” will also have the chance to compete in challenging games including Axe Throwing, Hockey Shootout and of course the Wiener Pull & Roast.
The event will close with a casual program featuring real-life stories from men who have overcome adversity and mental illness to discover better health and well being.
A charity auction will also help ensure the charity goals are exceeded before the recipient of the MANifest Kelowna Man of the Year Award and prize winners are revealed.
There are a limited quantity of Individual or Tribe (group of 10) registrations available. All registrants will receive a tax-deductible donation receipt equivalent to 50 per cent of the registration fee.
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