The mid-term congressional election is less than two months away and some observers wonder whether the event will be all about nothing.
-FUNDS RAISED DURING TREK FROM OREGON TO MASSACHUSETTS WILL HELP PEOPLE NEEDING MENTAL HEALTH CARE AND ALSO COVER GAPS OF INSURANCE COVERAGE-
DES MOINES, Iowa, June 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mindful of people who need financial support to access needed mental health counseling plus assistance with covering gaps of insurance coverage due to the current socio-economic crisis, Cal Meuzelaar -- social worker and director of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services' Iowa Outpatient Clinics -- is set to begin a transcontinental bicycle tour on June 15 and is dedicating his efforts toward raising $100,000 for clients.
When Meuzelaar embarks on his journey, dubbed the "Renewing Spirits Bicycle Tour," he will ride 80 miles each day along a northern route that begins in Florence, Oregon and ends in Salem, Massachusetts. He estimates covering some 4,000 miles of country by riding 15 miles per hour, over an eight-week time frame, to complete the journey. Meuzelaar's wife, Mary, will drive along in a support vehicle.
"One of the main goals for this tour is to raise funds for men, women and children who access services at the Pine Rest Iowa Clinics and I am currently seeking charitable donations through the form of sponsorships for this tour," said Cal Meuzelaar, a long time bicycle enthusiast and participant in century rides plus the Annual Great Ride Across Iowa.
Money has begun coming in and Meuzelaar is encouraging persons to donate to the cause by clicking on the following link at Pine Rest's "Renewing Spirits Bicycle Tour" website: http://www.pinerest.org/services/outpatient/renewing-spirits/renewing-spirits-donation.asp.
"Through 25 years as a clinical mental health therapist, I've seen people's needs for help with mental health issues grow. In fact, their desires for emotional hope and healing have never been greater. In order to restore hope and experience healing, families, married couples and individuals of all ages need to have access to these types of services when they need them," said Cal Meuzelaar.
Funds raised during the bicycle tour will help Meuzelaar and his staff of 25 clinical and administrative professionals provide mental health care for persons having difficulties knowing just where to go for this type of help. Funding also will provide therapy to people of all ages, prepare young people for marriage and provide support to pastors. Plus, monies will also offer delinquent kids a new start and help adoptive parents handle tough challenges of parenting, along with other charitable services.
"As a mental health professional, I was searching for the opportunity to work as a clinician in a Christian faith-based environment. I believe that each member of our clinical team is committed to our core values and to our mission statement and have found my colleagues also to be committed in the provision of their services with professional excellence and Christian integrity," said Karen Bauerle, LISW, Pine Rest Des Moines Clinic.
Meuzelaar estimates that this year alone, the Pine Rest Iowa clinics will serve more than 2,000 people. Many who need and use mental health services are unable to meet the costs. Meuzelaar reports these individuals are deeply grateful for the generous community that helps make hope, help and healing a reality.
"I've participated in many continuing education experience in 25 years of local church ministry, including pastor's book discussion groups and a unit of clinical pastoral education," said John Ottley, pastor of the Cornerstone Church in Des Moines, Iowa. "The Pine Rest discussion group ranks right at the top for at least three reasons. First, the choice of reading material was superb. Second, discussing ministry-related issues with a group of ministers is rich and rare because we participate in a safe community of grace and truth. Finally, Pine Rest staff members have been excellent mentors and models of the concepts we're learning and sharing."
Although a transcontinental bike ride is a different challenge, Meuzelaar has selected the title of a song called "Pressing On" from a CD entitled "The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan" and performed by Chicago Mass Choir as the theme song for his bicycle tour. Meuzelaar believes that Bob Dylan's imagery in the song suggests this is a journey filled with challenges and in the face of them, rather than being diverted or quitting, the singer experiences a higher calling. The song suggests that even in adversity, there is hope and the ultimate achievement of a goal, similar to what persons with mental illness face in their daily lives.
"People who choose Pine Rest are on a journey of change. Sometimes, the big uphill changes may be like cycling through a Rocky Mountain pass. Other times, the stage of change may be more like riding the rolling terrain of the Great Plains. We all cycle and recycle the journey of change and learn about ourselves in the process," said Cal Meuzelaar.
"I have found that my colleagues provide compassion for each and every individual whom they serve. It has also been my experience that there have been a significant number of our clients who report they have sought us out because of the reputation of our excellent staff and their confidence in how we practice," said Karen Bauerle.
Meuzelaar is excited about the prospect of gaining support of many individuals who believe in giving back to the community through sponsorships received for the bicycle tour. To date, Marion County State Bank, VanMaanen & Associates, P.C., Brom Auto, Tripp Law Office, P.C., and Vermeer Manufacturing have signed on as sponsoring businesses for the bicycle tour.
"Supporting the Renewing Spirits Bike Tour across America is as natural as breathing. I have a shared passion for cycling across things and places. So, the event makes it easy to be involved. The mission of giving hope and help and initiating healing to those in need, however, makes it impossible not to join Cal's tour financially," said Timothy Tripp, lawyer with Tripp, P.C. law firm of Pella, Iowa.
To give insight into the need for mental health treatment services, over the past five years there have been nearly 64,000 outpatient visits at Pine Rest's two Iowa Clinic sites.
Anyone interested in making a donation or serving as a sponsor may contact Cal Meuzelaar directly by calling: 641/628-9599, or toll-free at: 1/800-274-9278.
For further information about Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, interested persons should visit the organizational website at: http://www.pinerest.org.
SOURCE Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
CONTACT: Pam Mettler, Director of Marketing & Community Relations of Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, P: +1-616-630-1398, O: +1-616-281-6363, ext. 2033