THE sleepy heritage town of Chidlow is about to host one of the biggest fundraising attempts for beyondblue in an attempt to set a national record for the most blue cars in one place.
Organisers Fran Berry and her husband Norm run the local tavern and they want to see blue motors roll in on Sunday to raise awareness in support of people with depression and anxiety.
“We’re very connected to the cause because we have family, as well as close friends and local veterans affected by the stigma attached to mental health,” Ms Berry said.
Drivers are asked to arrive from 11am to noon and contribute a $20 registration fee per car to beyondblue.
The Chidlow Tavern Blue Car Cruise and Blue Car Show and Shine will be recorded by drones flying overhead on the day.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, with around 3000 people dying by suicide every year.
“That’s an average of eight people every day,” Ms Berry said.
“For every suicide, there are tragic ripple effects for friends, families, colleagues and the broader community – this is a shocking fact that affects every community in Australia.”
Beyondblue wants to bring help and support to those struggling, ease their pain and remove the stigmas linked to mental health.
Ms Berry said the event will feature an open event for blue cars of all makes, years and models to compete for a host of awards including the best classic, best modern and the judges’ choice.
Other highlights will include live entertainment by local bands Crippled Chaos, from noon to 3pm, followed by The Brett Hardwick Band from 4pm onwards and there will be face-painting for children.
The Bendigo Mundaring Community Bank partnered with the Chidlow Tavern to provide a marquee to collect the $20 car entry fees, as well as a “tap and go” donation facility.
Guest speakers throughout the day will feature beyondblue ambassador Daniel Sharples and Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw.
“Mental health issues impact on everyone in our community and beyondblue does such important work in promoting good mental health, protecting mental wellbeing and helping people recover if they become unwell,” Ms Shaw said.
“ In my electorate of Swan Hills, youth suicide and mental health issues are well documented and I gave an absolute commitment to work alongside the community to establish a youth centre in Ellenbrook with mental health and youth suicide prevention services.
“Whether you drive a blue car or not, please come out and be a part of this great community event to help raise awareness for beyondblue, bring much needed support to those suffering from depression and anxiety, and help set a record,” she said.