Thousands 'Pause for Love' in Ingersoll
Ingersoll artist Ned Burwell tattoos a semin colon - a symbol for mental health awareness - on Lynette Schnarr during the second annual A Puse for Love tattoo event in support of mental health awareness at the Ingersoll District Memorial Centre on Sunday. Thirty-five tattoo artists from as far away as Petawawa and Toronto volunteered their time to tatto semi colon and B-Love designs on patrons between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Hundreds of people were lined up outside the building waiting to get in to the event where organizers hoped to raise $50,000 for several organizations. JOHN TAPLEY/INGERSOLL TIMES
Hundreds of people were lined up outside the Ingersoll District Memorial Centre on Sunday waiting to get in to the second annual A Pause for Love tattoo event for mental health awareness.
Thirty-five tattoo artists, including Ingersoll's Ned Burwell, and others from as far away as Toronto and Petawawa, volunteered from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to tattoo small semi colons and B-Love designs on patrons.
The semi colon is a symbol of mental health awareness and Burwell said B-Love is meant to reminder people to “be loving to others, to the world and most importantly to yourself.”
People looking to get inked paid $40 for one tattoo and $60 for both.
“We're hoping for $50,000,” said Burwell, who organizes the event, noting that it was anticipated that 2,000 people were expected to be tattooed on Sunday.
The money will be donated to the Oxford-Elgin child and Youth centre, Ingersoll's Fusion Youth Centre, the Talbot Teen Centre and the Canadian Mental Health Association.
“The most important part to me is we hope that today will inspire people to love themselves,” Burwell said. “We need our health care and all the services that are in place, but we also need our self care and that involves loving yourself, taking your own stand for mental health.”
Besides tattooing, the event featured live music, and 31 paintings that Burwell had created for sale to help raise money for the cause.
He said he often tattoos people who have lost loved ones to suicide and other mental health issues and started A Pause for Love in response to a rash of suicides in Oxford County.
“We wanted to do something to say we think people matter and we care about them,” Burwell said.
Erica Heffren was among those waiting in line to get in to Sunday's event, planning to get a semi colon tattoo.
She said her mother suffered from mental illness.
“She passed away a couple of years go, so I'm getting a memorial tattoo for her and myself and it's for a good cause.”