by Jim McGregor/Special to Langley Advance Times
When Walnut Grove residents Chuck and Lorraine Marr were married 49 years ago, they camperized a 1970 VW van and set off across Canada on their honeymoon.
Next year, to celebrate their 50th, they plan to retrace their steps in a cross-country trip, but in a much more comfortable camper with their golf clubs, and with a goal to raise $50,000 to support a Langley School District program called Project Resiliency .
Project Resiliency is a three-day counseling-based program that offers young people the opportunity to address whatever might be preventing them from achieving their full potential.
Through youth-friendly and engaging activities, students have the opportunity to explore personal adversities, as well as personal and family strengths. This structured experience strategies supports the consideration and incorporation of healthy coping and establishes positive adult supports within the school and community.
Chuck explains why they are supporting this initiative.
“We lost our son in 2009 as a result of substance abuse. He had hid his addiction well since high school and we had no idea how bad it was,” the grieving father elaborated.
“Over the years we were hearing about so many other young people suffering from mental illness and substance abuse, so we decided to raise some money for our 50th and this seemed to fit.”
RELATED: In memory of Todd Marr
Project Resiliency was developed by Langley School District staff for all Langley School District secondary students, to offer a strength based, supportive assessment and intervention, services their son, Todd, never had access to.
The couple have always believed that prevention is much more than treatment, but many parents don’t know where to go or what to do.
“We have wonderful programs in Langley that people should be aware of, but they are understaffed and underfunded and so we chose to place our support towards their continued success,” said Chuck.
“Golf and travel were our lifelines when we lost Todd,” recalls Lorraine.
“It helped us cope and deal with our loss. So we’re going to travel and golf across Canada and raise money along the way for Project Resiliency.”
They plan to use their love of golf as a vehicle to generate support and awareness for addressing student mental health and substance use prevention.
Chuck has a plan for the trip.
“We will contact 50 golf courses across Canada, five in each province, and let them know about our fundraiser, and hopefully when we arrive they will let us set up an information table or possibly donate our green fees to the charity. Our plan is to leave in May of 2023 and be finished by the fall.”
The Marrs hope to have most of the $50,000 raised by the time they leave next year, and anything they get along the way will be a plus.
“We started this in February and we have already raised $10,485.”
“We plan to have brochures to hand out, banners to display in the campgrounds, and social media, hopefully to make people aware of the problems our youth face every day and get their support,” said Chuck.
“We may be able to talk to Rotary groups or other service clubs along the way, getting the word out about this problem and maybe see them start a Project Resiliency in their own area.”
They have another son and daughter, and five benefits – one going into high school this year, and they want to make sure there is support for them, when and if needed.
“If we can help one child or one family, and keep this amazing and unique program going, it will be a great legacy and spare a family the agony that we went through, and we will have done our part,” Chuck added.
“We want to let the people know these problems are out there in our community and there is help.”
PAST AID: Langley School District Foundation tells families to ‘lean on us’
The Langley School District Foundation, a registered not-for-profit organization, will be their official charity partner. All donations will be eligible for a tax receipt. More information is available online at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/langley-school-district-foundation/p2p/50for50/
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