"... You can't put a price on life"Tracey Pluis
After losing her friend to suicide in May, owner of Nextra Newsagency Tracey Pluis wanted to raise awareness about men's mental health.
Ms Pluis said she decided fundraising money for Beyond Blue and its services would be a good project for her and her team to embrace.
"Our friend was a middle aged man who was just like Robin Williams, always fun and happy to be around, and it was quite a shock to know he is no longer with us," she said.
"We wanted to the community to know that help is always available and we wanted do our bit to help in some way.
"We know the money donated to Beyond Blue will go towards much-needed mental health services which makes it worthwhile because you can't put a price on life."
She said last month the newsagency dressed up in blue and had an in-store raffle with proceeds going towards the non-for-profit organisation.
"It was a really fun day and we raised $810 in the raffle and we donated the rest of the balance to sit at $1,100," Ms Pluis said.
"We still have a goal to raise $2,500 and we understand it is a hard time for everyone to dig deep and we appreciate the support from the community."
Some of the businesses and locals that helped contribute to the raffle include The Snack Shack, Leaf Cafe, SJR Handyman, AJ Creations, Trang Hue, Priceline Pharmacy, Orange City Centre, Smokemart and Gift Box, Kelly Grant and Belinda Houghton.
Ms Pluis added she may do another fundraiser in the next couple of weeks to reach the final goal.
"It will take some time to plan ahead for the next fundraiser because I also have to balance running the business," she said.
"We had a great response from people in the community who came down to support the day and participate in the raffle.
"We are never going to be rich in small business but we can be a platform for others."
According to Ms Pluis, being able to support this cause is personal.
"We all know someone who has been impacted by mental health and suicide, life can be hard and some people cope better than others," she said.
"But for those who feel like they are alone if they reach out for help, there are people and services like Beyond Blue that will be able to support them.
"Particularly men who have been brought up to be tough, strong and don't talk about their feelings, there is help available."
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 orLifeline on 13 11 14.
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