Over the course of the summer, Jim Znonar, a teacher at Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School, embarked on a cross-country bike ride to raise awareness and funds for mental health.
Through daily blog entries, Znonar used his website, Cycling C2C, to highlight his trip from start to finish.
To celebrate his accomplishment, the Cardinal Newman community welcomed back Znonar in a school-wide assembly where he spoke about his journey and the mental strength he needed in order to complete his goal.
The assembly followed a mass where Father Francesco of St. Francis Xavier Parish centered a theme around "Everyday Heroes."
"What Mr. Zvonar may not realize is what a hero he is to the community of Cardinal Newman," said Student Success Teacher Halina Salciccioli.
"The resilience that Jim demonstrated is a reminder of the strength that he possessed to reach his goal, despite the weather conditions, physical obstacles and separation from family and friends. We need to understand that each of us can develop and tap into our inner everyday hero as we face obstacles both big and small."
After sharing his reflections Zvonar presented a donation of $15,000 to the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton (SPCCH), which was raised by the Cardinal Newman and Hamilton community in support of his ride.
"This organization has goals that align seamlessly with the goals of Jim's ride, and they actively work within the greater Hamilton community," said Salciccioli. "Cardinal Newman has been a recipient of several grants from the SPCCH that supported mental health and wellness initiatives at the school."
One in four Canadians will suffer from a mental illness. Thank you, Jim, for embarking on your journey to shine a light on mental health and help end the stigma.
To read back on Jim's experiences, please visit: https://www.cyclingc2c.ca