Virtual Positive Pedalers event held in memory of Joe Dille

Celebrating the life of Telford resident Joe Dille and raising mental health awareness, people participated in a virtual Positive Pedalers event throughout the month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month. The event allows participants to walk, run, bike and make donations to support suicide prevention.


***Walking for mental health…**Participating in the virtual positive pedalers event, Peyton Heart Project Club Officer Taylor Burke walks through her neighborhood to show her support for mental health awareness. The event is throughout the entire month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. Photo by Taylor Burke*

To spread awareness about mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month, advocates can make donations, run, walk and bike for Positive Pedalers. This event is also honoring Telford Resident Joe Dille.
The Positive Pedalers event aims to encourage people to show their support for mental health awareness by participating in events that benefit their personal mental health.
Donations raised from the event will go towards Access Services, The Montgomery Co. Suicide Prevention Taskforce and The Peyton Heart Project Club of Souderton Area High School.
According to Positive Pedalers founder Patti Dille, the event also aims to help the local community.
“The goal for this year is to bring Mental Health Awareness to our event and raise money to help Access Services, The Montgomery Co. Suicide Prevention Taskforce and The Peyton Heart Project Club of SAHS.” Dille said, “All of these are local to our community and are helping with Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Awareness within our community.”
Patti Dille and her husband Joe Dille launched the Positive Pedalers event in 2019 to honor their son, Matt, who they lost to suicide in 2014. According to Dille, her husband’s passion for bike riding was a part of his grief journey.
“I believe for Joe that biking was an important part of processing his grief after losing our son, Matt to suicide in 2014.” Dille said.
The following year, the event was held virtually due to COVID-19. The virtual event raised over $5,300.
Following Joe’s death in January, Patti decided to dedicate this year’s event towards honoring his legacy.
“I am dedicating this year’s Virtual Event to honor Joe and celebrate his life and his passion for riding his bike,” Dille said. “The Positive Pedalers initiative came about because I wanted to blend my advocacy for Mental Health Awareness, Suicide Awareness/Prevention together with my husband Joe’s passion for bike riding.”
Others who knew Joe, such as Peyton Heart Club President Adam Mast, also point out his passion for bike riding and advocacy.
“Joe was a huge advocate for mental positivity and suicide awareness and this event aims to accomplish those things as well as honor his life,” Mast said.
Mast also called Joe an “amazing, kind, loving, and resilient person who really benefited the community”.
The event is being held throughout the entire month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness month.
According to Peyton Heart Project Club Officer Taylor Burke, the month helps open conversations about mental health.
“Awareness is necessary because there is a stigma surrounding mental health and people just don’t want to talk about it,” Burke said. “If we raise more awareness around mental health, then maybe we can get more people to talk about their own experiences and break that stigma.”
According to Dille, this stigma prevents people from openly discussing their mental health.
“Many people are suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues but many of us do not feel comfortable talking about it to others and do not seek help,” Dille said. “We really need to end the stigma and help others.”
Other organizations, such as Mental Health America, highlight the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has on mental health.
According to Mental Health America’s website, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles, because that stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help.”
According to Mast, the club is also trying to spread more awareness about mental health within the community.
“This year we have tried to have conversations, raise awareness, and complete kindness missions that all aim to improve the club members’ own mental health and help students become mental health advocates,” Mast said, “We really try to be a positive force within the Souderton community.”