Kara Sutherland just after she's hopped off the treadmill in her 24-hour treadmill marathon.
Kara Sutherland just after she's hopped off the treadmill in her 24-hour treadmill marathon. Caitlan Charles

LETTER: Kara says thanks for treadmill help

For 24 hours over May 26 and 27, this incredible town played host to PPP4SPA (Plebs, Pros & Personalities for Suicide Prevention Australia) - a 24 hour treadmill run to raise funds and awareness for Suicide Prevention Australia.

However, this event would never have been possible without the efforts of some truly amazing Graftonians.

To Joel Ward and the Grafton Hockey Association - thank you for allowing us to stage the event at such a fantastic facility and being so easy to deal with during the weeks and months of preparation.

To Anthony and Carly of AwsumBody Fitness - there are no words to thank you enough! Not only did you donate two treadmills, but you went absolutely above and beyond by arranging their transport, and then even supplying us with delicious meals from the Village Green. We could not have made it through to 6pm Saturday without you!

To our runners - thank you to each and every person who took time out of their weekend, be it half an hour on Friday night or two hours in the cold, dark, early morning. Special mention to Celia Sullohern and Dad Mike, as well as Kerry Gallagher who covered some serious kilometres between them.

To the team at FM 104.7, The Daily Examiner and countless local businesses - whether it was plugging the event on radio, running online or print articles, or displaying posters in store, thank you! PPP4SPA is all about raising awareness, and your unwavering support in attracting the community to the event is greatly appreciated.

And finally, to my amazing parents, Mandy and Greig - from the moment I brought this idea to you, all you wanted to know was how you could help. Whether it was sourcing a third treadmill (thank you too, Deb Kinnane), distributing flyers, or even borrowing a mattress from a neighbour to insure we all had somewhere to rest at the event's conclusion, nothing was ever too much to ask.

Officially, over $50,000 has been raised through the seven sites nation-wide, but rumour has it this will be closer to $70k. It's still not too late to donate, simply follow the link.

Hopefully we have managed to generate conversation around suicide prevention and mental health awareness, but we must continue to break down the associated stigma and make sure those we love know it's perfectly ok to not be ok.

They say tough times often bring out the best in people, and we were certainly lucky enough to witness an endless display of this from the Clarence community. I've never been prouder to call Grafton home!

Kara Sutherland, Brisbane

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