The team behind the Wheatland Charity PBR has donated funds raised through their event to the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Slim Wilson, who puts on and operates the Wheatland Charity PBR, said there was clear intent behind this year’s event, to support the Children’s Hospital as much as they could.
The Wheatland Charity PBR is the second charity type event hosted by Wilson and his team over the course of the rodeo season.
The Charity PBR, previously hosted at the rodeo grounds in Cluny, was moved to Gleichen, and the charity changed to supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation from STARS Air Ambulance.
“We had plans of putting on a big party and concert and bull riding, and the weather changed it all, but we still had a lot of people coming out despite the (awful) weather,” said Wilson. “I’ve been to rodeos and bull riding events and stuff that had really good weather and had the same number of people, so we had some diehard people come out and support us.”
Wilson added some of the motivation behind choosing to support the Alberta Children’s Hospital this year stemmed from the memory of positive experience in their care.
“When my daughter was 13 or 14 or something like that, she had her appendix burst and when we took her to the children’s hospital, they were just fantastic,” said Wilson. “I think she was in for a total of three weeks, got out and then got another infection and had to go back. While we were there, we were treated fantastic, and they’re not a pain … we were just so happy with the experience that we had.”
Through their fundraising efforts with the Charity PBR, the team was able to donate $7,985 to the Children’s Hospital Foundation. The cheque was presented to the hospital on Sept. 14 at Origin Malting and Brewing in Strathmore.
Wilson said the goal of the event in its entirety was not to make a profit of any kind, but rather to put on a good event for a good cause.
“This event it is the second year, but we started the Cluny Lions Charity PBR in 2017 and that’s in support of the Wheatland and Area Hospice Society,” explained Wilson. “This year, putting on the two events actually made things tougher, but we raised more money for the hospice this year than we have ever raised before.”
Looking ahead to next year’s Wheatland Charity PBR, Wilson added he wants to put the call out to their sponsors to give them options for which charity to support through the event.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times