In just under two weeks, 47-year-old Marine veteran and BJJ purple belt Damian “Obi” Todd will attempt to set a world record by grappling for 24 hours straight to raise money for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Todd has already raised over $11,000 towards his $100,000 goal (all of which will go to the R U OK? Foundation), and his fundraiser got a big boost over the weekend thanks to the Australian Grappling Championships (AGC).
The local tournament circuit based out of Adelaide, Australia hosted a qualifier event for their upcoming invitational and dedicated $5 for every competitor registration and $1 for every spectator fee toward Todd’s Roll Around the Clock event. After a day of exciting matches, an impressive $545 had been raised for the cause.
In a statement to the Jiu-Jitsu Times, AGC promoter Troy Guyette had this to say about the fundraising effort:
“I’ve known Obi for a number of years and he would have to be one of the most selfless beings i’ve ever met. Him and I share a passion for what BJJ is and how much it has changed our lives (for the better of course, except for when the misses get angry for training too late :p)
When Obi, first came to me and said he was going to be doing the task and campaign for RUOK, I immediately jumped at it. As an organization, we have always tried to do the right thing and help people that are in need. Examples of this can be seen from a few people within the SA BJJ scene that have experienced times of crisis. One of the biggest reasons that there was no hesitation in regards to supporting his cause is because mental health is something that has the opportunity to affect all of us, and without knowing, it can change or destroy a life in an instant.
Donations to Roll Around the Clock can be made here. The event will run for 24 hours on Friday, February 22.