Riding the roads to save teen lives
Launa-Anne Smith knows all too well the devastation of losing a loved one to suicide, and is using her experiences to help prevent other families going through it.
Ms Smith lost her 18- year- old son LaniKohurangi Gore to suicide in August 2010.
‘‘The grieving process did hit us hard, you have all these questions that will remain unanswered. I lost my passion for riding my motorcycle – a passion I had held since I was a teen. My grief really took its toll.’’
After two years of soul searching Ms Smith has directed her energy into suicide prevention.
‘‘ I have recently joined the South Waikato Stop Youth Suicide team and mixing that in with my joy of riding and being of some use, having had this happen to our family.’’
Ms Smith is joining the Super Maori Fullas in their Green Ribbon Ride.
The event is called riders against teenage suicide with the motto: It’s not OK to go that way.
The ride begins
in Whangarei this Saturday and will visit communities that have been hit hard by suicides which include the far north, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.
‘‘Through this channel I have been able to reignite my passion for motorcycle riding,’’ Ms Smith said. ‘‘I have been fundraising to attend the event in Whangarei. I would like to express my gratitude for the support already shown by the Tokoroa community.’’
Ms Smith said donations can also be made to the local South Waikato Stop Youth Suicide Group.
For information on making a donation go the group’s Facebook page. Last week South Waikato News ran an item in its archives section that unfortunately coincided with the loss of a member of the Tokoroa community. South Waikato News apologises to the Machen family. South Waikato SPCA is organising its annual Adopta-thon and Valentines Day raffle which will be held on February 16 and 17. The event will begin at 11am and finish about 3.30pm. Contact Lorna Hutchinson on 07 886 7722. from all over New Zealand compete for the title. Counties Red won the B-grade section, PutaruruTirau 4 topped the C-grade and Pouto Fighters won the D-grade. A spate of vandalism has seen trees on the Bent St berm in Putaruru damaged again. South Waikato District Council said several of the trees needed to be replaced and it was looking at whether that was worthwhile. A number of the new trees along Marchant St in Putaruru also had their tops snapped off. Tokoroa Police thank people for help apprehending two people wanted for arrest last week. In response to the article the person sought was arrested and appeared in Rotorua District Court. An armed robbery at Aotea Mobil on Saturday was foiled by family members of the sole attendant at the petrol station. The people involved were instrumental in guiding police to apprehend and arrest the offender. As a result a weapon and an amount of money was recovered, and a 27-year-old man appeared in the Tokoroa District Court on Monday charged with aggravated robbery and was remanded in custody. This comes a day after the burglary at Aotea Dairy on Friday night where mainly cigarettes were stolen Police are asking for information and are following good lines of inquiry.
RIDE FOR LIFE: Mother of three Launa-Anne Smith is riding her motorcycle to increase awareness of suicide prevention.