A local charitable event is telling a story of amazing generosity to benefit youth from all walks of life.
The “Horses of Hope” program run by Bethany Ranch was the recipient of a charitable dinner and auction Sept. 21. The dinner was organized by the Peace Hills Cowboy Fellowship and held at fellowship member Paul Kalke’s ranch west of Millet.
Kalke said the event attracted 160 people and organizers were expecting only about half that, and the event raised over $50,000. “It was beyond our expectations,” said Kalke at his business Oct. 10, noting volunteers expected to raise only about $25,000.
He said many more people voiced interest in the event but couldn’t attend because of harvest. Kalke said everybody enjoyed a prime rib dinner catered by Huckleberry’s restaurant.
The highlight of the event was a horsemanship presentation that allowed guests to learn more about the bodies and minds of horses.
Kalke said the event also featured a number of special guests, including Edmonton Wetaskiwin candidate Mike Lake, MLA Rick Wilson’s spouse Rose Wilson, County of Wetaskiwin Reeve Terry Van de Kraats and county councilor Josh Bishop.
The auction was handled very ably by Wayne Meyers and Leighton Sorenson. Kalke said the highest selling pie was a peace pie that sold for $575, while 12 huckleberry pies sold for an average $400 each. Feed and care for a year for each of Bethany Ranch’s horses sold for $800 per horse.
Horses of Hope is a program that brings youth from all walks of life out to a working ranch to learn about horses.
Kalke said the fellowship are planning on hold the event again next year. “When it comes to kids, people are normally pretty generous,” he added.