Manjimup Speedway junior vice-president Colby Bosley and his father Ryan hope to raise awareness and money for youth mental health support and services with an auction night this month. Local businesses have generously donated items and money for the night — which sold-out it’s first release of tickets — while the Manjimup Gateway Hotel has opened its doors for the charity-event. Colby said the idea for the fundraiser dinner and auction allowed him to both raise awareness and money for a local mental health organisation and to allow the Junior Sedans races on February 25 to have another event as well. “For this particular round that’s coming up, I’ve got the Junior Sedan Racing Association of WA to come down and they bring a heap of juniors between the ages of 10 and 17,” he said. “I just wanted to something more than just another race, so I looked into it and thought that fundraising for a mental health charity would be good because it helps bring awareness.” The passionate speedway competitor chose WA-based Youth Focus, as they had local staff who could support the South West region. “Youth Focus is WA based, so everything stays in WA and there’s local people where you can go and get help,” he said. “I thought it would be better to keep everything local rather than over east.” The auction night — supported by Tyrepower Manjimup Speedway and the Manjimup Gateway Hotel — has already expanded in size, with the initial 65 tickets selling out, prompting them to bump capacity to 100. Mr Bosley said the community had given them fantastic support for the event. “It’s gone above and beyond what I’ve ever thought it could have gone and the town has gotten behind it, so it’s been really good,” he said. He said it would bring awareness of mental health options available to youth in the Warren-Blackwood area. “I think it’s crucial everywhere, but we’re not in a big area, so the metro areas sometimes seem like they get it all,” Mr Bosley said. “Colby’s trying to bring awareness that there is help in the South West and in our areas, so his Speedway friends can know how to get it and there are discreet options where you can meet and talk about your problems, rather than having a flashing light saying “I’m getting help.” Melissa White, a representative from the Bunbury Youth Focus office, said the charity were “incredibly honoured and grateful” for Colby’s support. “When I first heard about it, I was really excited because we mainly operate in schools and we don’t have a brick-and-mortar signage presence,” she said. She said it was hard to find out what mental health services were available for both youth and adults when she came down to the Warren-Blackwood region seven years ago and they were working to change that. “It’s not as simple as a quick Google search and it should be, but Youth Focus can play that role,” Ms White said. “Privacy is really important, not for all young people, but for some, that can be a barrier, the concern of stigma and about reaching out to get help with mental health. “Our goal is to help young people find the support they need in the Warren-Blackwood region, whether it’s Youth Focus or whether it’s other support, as it’s not always easy to find out what’s available.” Mr Bosely thanked Manjimup Gateway Hotel owner Paul Fowler, who when initially approached by Colby for donations, encouraged him to plan an event and then offered to host it. “From my point of view, Paul made Colby step up and come back to him with ideas on what to do and Paul said I’ll support that, and I thought that was good getting him out of his comfort zone and stepping up with ideas, so Paul’s fantastic with that,” he said. “Their slogan is the little pub with the big heart and you can see it just oozes with all of that.” Items available at auction include signed memorabilia from the West Coast Eagles and Danny Green, as well as weed sprayers, fire pits and a variety of other goods. The event will take place at 6pm on February 17 at the Manjimup Gateway Hotel with a buffet style meal before the auction, with tickets available at RSM, Micks Auto Works, and Manjimup Muffler and Towbar Centre for $40.