April 11, 2024

Pedal for purpose, join local dentist at second annual spin-a-thon for mental health research

Hustle with Hunt returns to raise funds for the Mental Health Initiative for Stress and Trauma (MIST) at UCalgary

Calgary, AB – Building on the success of last year’s inaugural spin-a-thon which raised over $54,000 from nearly 300 donors, Dr. Rob Hunt invites all Calgarians to join him on April 13 for the second annual Hustle with Hunt, this year at the beloved King Eddy’s rooftop.

After a near-fatal cardiac arrest during a spin class in 2022, Dr. Rob Hunt partnered with the University of Calgary and YYC Cycle to make a difference in the community and support the Mental Health Initiative for Stress and Trauma (MIST), a key initiative based out of UCalgary’s renowned Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI).

“If I had been alone, I would be dead,” says Hunt struck by the notion of how being in that class saved his life. Surviving life's challenges — including cardiac arrest — has instilled in him a profound duty to advocate for mental wellness. “Physical activity and being around people is so important for our mental health.” 

The spin-a-thon once again coincides with the leadup to UCalgary ‘Giving Day’, an annual fundraising campaign that rallies thousands of people whose collective support creates extraordinary impact across the campus, in the community and beyond. Eligible gifts made until midnight on April 18 will be matched twice, up to $2,500 per gift — once by UCalgary and once by Dr. Rob Hunt who personally donated $10,000 to the cause.

It was during Giving Day 2022 when MIST was initiated by friends and family of Mike McClay, who died by suicide in October 2021 at the age of 49. The powerful fundraising push was a resounding success and the momentum has continued to grow. With the support of this small but mighty group of dedicated champions, nearly $5 million has been raised from hundreds of donors in less than two years.

MIST explores the impact that emotional stress and physical trauma have on the brain, and the relationship between these effects and post-concussion syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and suicide. The program focuses on advancing neuroscience research, discovering novel approaches and treatments and translating science into action through public outreach and education efforts.  

“Mental health issues do not discriminate —they can affect anyone and everyone regardless of who they are or where they live,” says Dr. Matt Hill, the inaugural MIST Research Chair. “We are all faces of MIST; we are all part of the same community.”

Philanthropy and community support will continue to be essential to advancing MIST’s vision. Those wishing to contribute to MIST through the Hustle with Hunt Spin-a-thon can do so here.

WHAT: Second annual Hustle with Hunt Spin-a-thon in support of the Mental Health Initiative for Stress and Trauma (MIST) at the University of Calgary 

WHO: The following people will be available for interviews:

  • Dr. Matthew Hill, Inaugural Chair, MIST
  • Dr. Rob Hunt, Dentist, KH Dental
  • Andrew Obrecht, CEO, YYC Cycle Spin Studio

WHEN: Saturday, April 13, 2024

  • Two classes at 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. followed by social celebration and live music
  • Spokespeople available between 2:15-2:45 p.m., 4-4:20 p.m. or 5:30-6:30 p.m.

WHERE: The King Eddy (Rooftop), 438 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB 


Media inquiries

Caitlin Lamont
Director, Donor Engagement


Brennan Black
Advisor, Media, Issues and Outreach

About the University of Calgary
UCalgary is Canada’s entrepreneurial university, located in Canada’s most enterprising city. It is a top research university and one of the highest-ranked universities of its age. Founded in 1966, its 35,000 students experience an innovative learning environment, made rich by research, hands-on experiences and entrepreneurial thinking. It is Canada’s leader in the creation of start-upsStart something today at the University of Calgary.

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