On June 8th, Baffin’s Stoney Creek headquarters hosted the first ever Baffin x Canadian Mental Health Association Ride Don’t Hide event.
Ride Don’t Hide is an annual fundraiser hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association and is the largest mental health fitness event in Canada. Over ten years, thousands of people rode millions of kilometres and raised millions of dollars for community mental health. But it’s not just for riders. Throughout the month of June, Ride Don’t Hide challenges thousands across Canada to ride, walk, run, stretch, dance and workout. To come together as a community to stay active, explore the outdoors and raise funds for mental health in our own communities.
As a proud partner of this years Ride Don’t Hide, Baffin not only sponsored the campaign, but rallied employees to create a corporate team and hosted a full day of wellness programming at head office. This partnership and event was a part of Baffin’s ongoing efforts and commitment to mental wellbeing, promoted through programs and partnerships, personal wellness days for employees and ongoing dialogue about workplace culture, the importance of wellness and the elevation of mental health.
The day started with a smoothie bar provided by Living Farmacy, a Toronto-based company that provides vegan frozen smoothies delivered to homes and businesses to make healthy rituals easier. Made with all natural ingredients, Living Farmacy provided several different smoothie flavours for the Baffin team to enjoy as they started their day.
Melissa Schumacher, Reiki Master and owner of Morning Sun Energy Healing led a morning group meditation and sound bath session, which allowed the attending group to clear their minds for the day ahead. After her guided mediation was completed, Melissa met individually with employees for Reiki energy healing classes. Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing, a type of alternative medicine. Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing through which a "universal energy" is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing.
To continue the mindfulness practice, Gorica MacLellan from De La Sol Yoga Studios hosted a beginner’s level yoga class. Focusing on relaxation, stretching and light strength training, this session was the perfect mix for employees who typically spend the day at desks or in meetings. After an hour-long session, the group was relaxed and rejuvenated; and had already started discussing ways to make yoga a frequent office pastime.
Employees were treated to a delicious lunch by local Hamilton food truck, Jonny Blonde. Made with quality Canadian ingredients, Johnny Blond offered a selection of sandwiches, sides and a butter tart for dessert.
After lunch, the team took to the Waterfront Trails in Stoney Creek to walk along Lake Ontario. Taking the time to soak up the sun, catch up with each other and take in the views was a priceless way to kickoff the second half of the day.
The final session was hosted by Baffin’s own Munesh Raj (Manager, Customer Experience). Munesh led a high energy Muay Thai class for those who wanted to get their heart rates up and try a new form of exercise. Muay Thai is a combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. Munesh led the group in a high-intensity training class that was raved about from all who attended.
This event was coordinated by Baffin’s Corporate Citizenship and Social Employee Advisory Groups whose role is to facilitate initiatives to help foster the company culture and evolution of the organization.
In total over $6,000 was raised for the Canadian Mental Health Association through the Ride Don’t Hide campaign and event, after Baffin matched donations made and raised by employees. It costs $330 for CMHA to provide one more person with the community mental health programs, services and support they need, when they need them. Through Baffin’s efforts, more than 18 individuals will be able to get the help they need from the Canadian Mental Health Association.