This year it’s Calgary’s Stampede: 1.1M guests and $2.1M Red Cross donation
Calgary – Three weeks ago today, during a press conference overlooking Stampede Park, Bob Thompson, president and chairman of the board and Vern Kimball, CEO of the Calgary Stampede announced Stampede 101 would go on. And go on it did, with some 1.1 million guests coming through the gates, half the of the Rodeo and Evening Show performances virtual sellouts and 80 percent of visitors stating that they had an ‘exceptional’ experience at Stampede 101.
“Supportive Calgarians and visitors encouraged us to host Stampede 101 – come Hell or High Water,” says Thompson. “The desire to forge ahead with Stampede 101 was heard loud and clear from the community. “
Even before the floodwaters had receded, the phrase “Hell or High Water” emerged as a rallying cry for southern Albertans. The Calgary Stampede decided to adopt the phrase and encourage a community funded campaign to support the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Flood Fund through the purchase of the official “Hell or High Water” t-shirt.
This morning the Stampede presented a cheque for $2.1 to the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Flood Fund on behalf of the community.
“This was an unprecedented fundraising campaign for the Calgary Stampede,” says Kimball. “We anticipated the campaign would be successful; however, we never anticipated presenting a cheque of this amount to the Canadian Red Cross – it is truly overwhelming.”
The Stampede has been humbled by the number of companies and individuals who have donated their services, expertise and time towards the “Hell or High Water” project. There have been countless volunteer hours spent folding, sorting and packing shirts, companies donating goods and professional services and organizations providing the opportunity for their staff to volunteer on the campaign. This project has been an exercise in the power of a community getting behind a cause they believe in.
“The overwhelming support for the Calgary Stampede’s Hell or High Water campaign shows the spirit and tenacity of Albertans,” says Sue Phillips, Canadian Red Cross Director General for Western Canada. “For those affected by the floods, the road to recovery will be long. This generous donation received today from the Calgary Stampede will help Red Cross assist individuals, families and communities as they rebuild their lives from Alberta’s worst flooding disaster.”
To date, Canadian Red Cross has distributed more than 596,000 relief supplies, such as clean up kits, first aid kits, hygiene items, water, towels, cots and blankets to those affected by the floods. As Albertans transition to recovery, Red Cross will work with community leaders and other organizations to coordinate efforts, conduct assessments and identify how to best serve the needs of the most vulnerable.
About the Calgary Stampede
As we enter our second century, the Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.