It was all smiles at Ronald McDonald House Wednesday afternoon in Red Deer.
Former NHLer Curtis Glencross presented a cheque for $190,000 to Ronald McDonald House – Southern and Central Alberta, and the Hockey Alberta Foundation.
The money was raised through the very successful 6th annual Glencross Invitational Charity Roughstock Rodeo at Westerner Park in August.
“We found a few ways this year to raise a little more money and cut a few costs we figured were unnecessary for giving the money where it needed to go,” Glencross noted Wednesday. “We’re about $40,000 up from last year so it’s a huge success for us.”
“It’s tough, so we’ve got to give credit to our sponsors. ATB [Financial] and the Calgary Flames Foundation are our title sponsors, but every other sponsor we have – it’s them who help us do this and we just put our name on it and do our best to put on a good event.”
Jason Evanson, CEO for Ronald McDonald House – Southern and Central Alberta, says they are blessed to be a benefactor of the event.
“The support they are providing is doing amazing things for families with sick and injured children that are staying here,” he said. “Were it not for them, we’d have difficulty delivering our services. So we can’t thank them and the community that rallies around their event enough.”
Evanson says both the day use and overnight stay programs at the house are seeing steady numbers when it comes to users. The money from the Glencross event comes as they are starting to head into their busiest time of the year.
“We build towards Christmas. It’s a special time of year for everyone, and certainly our families and Ronald McDonald House. The community rallies in great force to get behind our cause and ensure families are helped out during the holiday season.”
Since its inception, the Hockey Alberta Foundation has helped put more than 3,000 kids on the ice through initiatives like their Every Kid, Every Community program.
“We can’t do what we do without great teammates. Certainly, Curtis and his crew are great teammates,” explained Tim Leer, Executive Director for the Hockey Alberta Foundation. “Our grant applications have gone up over the last few years, so this money comes at a great time and it’ll be well used throughout Alberta.”
Tough economic conditions aside, Leer says a changing demographic is also leading to an increase in Every Kid, Every Community grant applications.
“They don’t grow up in a hockey culture like we do, but as soon as they arrive here in Alberta, they want to be just like their friends at school,” Leer noted. “That’s what we want to support – new ways of playing the same game.
Glencross, meantime, is confident his fundraising event is poised for a strong future.
“I think it’s just going to get better. Everyone who’s come to the event loves it. So as long as we can keep building it and growing it and raising the money we can, it’s two great causes that we support. No matter how much work we put in, it’s pretty rewarding to come give a cheque like this to these charities.”
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