The spurs were clickin’ and the chaps were swishin’ on Saturday night at Thunderbird Hall for the second annual Denim and Diamonds fundraiser for the Campbell River and District Association for Community Living (CRADACL).
Well, okay … Nobody took it all the way to spurs and chaps, but it was definitely a chance for people to let out their country side and kick up their heels for a good cause.
Executive director of CRADACL Greg Hill says they seem to have hit on a winner in terms of the type of fundraiser that the community wants to be a part of.
“Nobody else seems to be doing a cowboy/cowgirl themed event where people can go out and kick their heels up and celebrate the spirit of community living and just kind of let loose for a night like this,” Hill says. “We had to move to a larger hall this year because of the amazing turnout and response to last year’s event, and we filled this one, too.”
“The best part is that they’re not just coming out to dance and have a party,” Hill says. “They’re coming out because they know that in doing so, they’re helping a good cause, raising money for a wheelchair accessible van – which are about $80,000 a pop – so that not only can they get to the party, but our people can, too. That’s the whole idea of it, and people really seem to appreciate that, and they don’t seem to mind digging into their pockets and ponying up – pardon the pun – to help out in the goal of community living.”
And pony up they did. The combined total of the ticket sales for the event, profits from drink sales at the cash bar and bids on the various auction items totalled over $13,000 for the organization.
“It’s a lot of effort, but it’s more than worth it,” Hill says. “We take all year to plan for it, and once it happens, it’s a relief. I want to express my sincere thanks to the community for being a part of it and let them know that we’ll be doing it again next year, but there’s no time to revel in it. Now it’s got to be back to business as usual.”
Part of that “business as usual” involves starting to plan for their other major fundraiser of the year, coming up this fall.
The Chilli Cook-Off at Spirit Square, Hill says, also went over well last year when they partnered up with Pumpkinfest, so they are continuing on that event, as well. Local restauranteurs and resort operators will compete for the public’s vote for the best chilli in the region to win the “highly coveted ladle on a wooden stand,” Hill says with a laugh.
Find out more about what CRADACL does within the community online at cradacl.bc.ca