The Maddie Project – 2017 Toronto Dad takes on Ultra Marathon to Support Youth Mental Health in his community
Toronto, ON

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Campaign this group supports

Shinebright. The Maddie Project ( is a community effort in support of youth struggling with depression and other mental health related concerns. Established in memory of Madeline Grace German Coulter.

The Group's Purpose

Hello, my name is Michael Neale. On the weekend of May 20-21st, I will run a 160 km ultra-marathon in the Florida Keys. The “Keys 100” starts in Key Largo and finishes 100 miles south in Key West.

In the fall of 2016, I ran with the Get Moving for Maddie team in the Scotiabank Marathon. I was so inspired by the work the Maddie Project was doing that I have pledged to support the project as I attempt to run 160 km in under 32 hours in daytime temperatures exceeding 32C. 

Growing up in London, England as a teenager it was not commonplace to talk about depression and those with mental health concerns faced enormous stigmas. I want better for my children and all of today’s youth. No child or youth should be denied the help they need and should have a future free of any stigmas surrounding mental health.

The Maddie Project's mission is to let no youth or their family suffer from depression or other mental health concerns without help. 

The Maddie Project’s goals are to:

1. Help raise awareness by sparking conversations around the topic of youth depression and mental health concerns. These conversations will reduce the stigma associated with depression and encourage youth, their friends, families and communities to put up their hand for help. 

2. Help provide improved access to support and services for youth. They work with the community to provide uninhibited access to support for youth and their families through schools, the health care system, our community services and more. 

To date the Maddie Project has engaged millions in conversations and raised more than $1.3 million dollars supporting youth mental health services in our community.

How to Help

In my efforts, I hope to help reduce the stigma around youth mental health and raise $10,000 or more.

All of the funds that I raise will receive a tax receipt and go directly to support the Maddie Project’s latest partnership with Skylark Children, Youth and Families.

100% of your donation goes directly to the Maddie Project, I will be covering all my travel, accommodation and event fees.

Skylark is a local charity dedicated to supporting youth mental health through various programs and services including a new no–cost, hassle-free walk-in clinic at Yonge and Eglinton that serves as an intake for access to mental health services for young people 0-21 and their families. 

The Maddie Project has partnered with Skylark in an effort to raise $200,000 to optimize and augment Skylark’s new walk-in facility by increasing walk-in clinic hours from current 27.5 hrs to 37.5 hrs/wk enabling the clinic to support additional kids struggling. 

I hope that you will consider supporting my run through a donation and join me in the effort to support youth mental health in our community for all our children. 

Shine bright!

About the Organizers

Michael is a business executive in the media industry living in Toronto, Canada with his wife and 3 children. He is an avid runner and has run both marathons and ultra-marathons.