On Friday, October 9, Garrett McFadden and McFadden’s Movement donated $10,000 – $5,000 each – to WES For Youth Online and the Canadian Mental Health Association, Waterloo-Wellington branch. The donation came following the cancellation of both of the Movement’s major events this summer due to COVID-19, including the postponement of the newly introduced MM27 Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament originally scheduled for July 27, 2020.
With the cancellations, McFadden and the Movement pivoted, striving to raise $10,000 amidst the pandemic with virtual events including the MM27 Quarantourney, which saw the likes of Jason Dickinson, Isaac Ratcliffe, Liam Hawel, Nate Schnarr, and others compete in an online hockey tournament, as well as the MM27 Golf Together event sponsored by Skyjack.
“It was a bit of a struggle for us and we had two events that didn’t really happen but we made due… and actually, I had a lot of fun with it. It was one of those things where it was really challenging and it’s maybe not our biggest donation which is not exactly what we want, but it was definitely one that I will always remember,” McFadden said of the 2019-20 fundraising efforts. “It was a resilient effort and one that represents what we’re trying to work for and just show that we can’t give up and we have to keep working.”
For the Movement, the donation brings the official total donated to mental health resources past the $50,000 milestone, standing at $57,000 in four years. Following the 2016-17 campaign, McFadden donated $6,000 and followed it up with $20,000 in 2018. That same year, the Movement also donated $1,000 to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) in support of the Humboldt Broncos tragic bus accident. In 2019, McFadden made his second consecutive $20,000 donation, bringing his total to $47,000 in less than three years.
With this year’s donation slightly different than the others, representatives from both WES For Youth Online and CMHA Waterloo-Wellington joined McFadden on a Zoom call for the formal presentation. Watch the video here.
“I’m just so impressed and amazed that you were even able to pivot the way that you did and keep the conversation going and keep the fundraising going,” Alison De Muy, CMHA Waterloo-Wellington’s Director of Strategy and Community Engagement offered. “Listen, at this time, it’s absolutely important to raise funds for needed services which I can tell you are more needed than ever before. Our call volumes have doubled in the last few months and the need for support in our community has never been greater. But more importantly, it’s about awareness. Every time you, your donors, your family, your teammates shine a light on mental health and just wellness generally we are saving lives and making a huge difference, even just the act of keeping the conversation going – that alone is enough.”
While Yolanda Cameron, mother of the late Wes Cameron and founder of WES For Youth Online, added: “On behalf of WES For Youth Garrett, thank you for everything… We’ve also experienced the same increase in service volume. We have had close to 700 youth register to use our online counselling so your donation is going to go a long way in servicing those young people that had to be at home and access service when they could. Hopefully in the future we can all continue to build on the resiliency that we’ve all discovered that we actually do have and make stronger connections.”
Most importantly, McFadden and the Movement recognize how much never ending support has been given by individuals, former and current teammates, family members and friends, and local businesses, as the list goes on and on. For that, McFadden’s Movement can’t thank that very long list enough for the incredible efforts put forth in helping MM27 reach our goal of simply making a difference in the world of mental health year after year.