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  • Changing Our Stars fundraiser helps grant a special wish

    Event organized by local riders benefits Rainbow Society

    Rainbow Society Fundraiser
    Kelsey Simpson, the Rainbow Society's Debbie Van Camp and Rebecca Richardson at their "Changing Our Stars" fundraiser this past weekend.
    Rainbow Society Fundraiser

    Kelsey Simpson, the Rainbow Society's Debbie Van Camp and Rebecca Richardson at their "Changing Our Stars" fundraiser this past weekend.

    CHESTERMERE – Kelsey Simpson and Rebecca Richardson are two dedicated and hard working local girls who do show jumping and ride out of Riqueza Riding Academy, just east of Chestermere.

    The pair worked hard to successfully put together the “Changing Our Stars” fundraiser that was held in Chestermere this past weekend. The event was organized in support of the Rainbow Society of Alberta, a group that grants wishes to chronically ill children.

    However, the fundraiser didn’t benefit the Rainbow Society as a whole, but instead was held in honor of a 12-year-old girl from Medicine Hat. The little girl’s wish is to have her own horse and tack, and although Simpson and Richardson weren’t provided with the name or even a photo of the girl they sponsored, they couldn’t help but try to make her wish come true, as they can both appreciate the benefits of being a horse owner.

    Kelsey said that although they didn’t have an official amount for how much they raised yet, she and Rebecca felt that the event was a success.

    “It was awesome and so much fun, people really enjoyed themselves,” she said. “We sold all of the silent auction items and the pinball tournament we did was awesome.

    “Everyone just had a really great time and it’s something we would consider definitely doing again.”

    Kelsey said that the support from everyone who attended the event, and even from those who weren’t able to make it but still donated, was overwhelming.

    “It was eye opening to see how people can come together and do great stuff,” she said. “The support was great and I think it would be so amazing if it all tallies up and we’ve been able to get this girl her horse.”

    Debbie Van Camp, regional manager for the Rainbow Society in Southern Alberta, attended the event on the weekend. She said that Kelsey and Rebecca have lots to be proud of.

    “They are two great girls, and I am always inspired by kids that help other kids,” Van Camp said. “It’s nice that these girls have a real respect for charity and for people who have the same love as them no matter what their ability is.

    “Their sponsorship was meant to be, I think the stars aligned on it, because having a wish on our list for a horse doesn’t happen often.”

    Van Camp said that she was impressed by their passion and that it was “great to see them step up and make something positive happen.”

    She said that she was also impressed by the support of the community, and hopes to see it become an annual local event that can grow and help more children.

    For more information about the Rainbow Society and their wish program, visit rainbowsociety.ab.ca.