Camrose, AB – Every August long weekend the CRE welcomes back the amazing community of BVJ who supports the Agriculture Society and their activities by participating in their largest fundraiser, the BVJ 50/50.
Unfortunately, with BVJ not being able to run in 2020 and 2021, the CRE, like many Agriculture Societies across Alberta, are in danger of not having the funds to reopen and continue running our many charitable programs. Which is why CRE decided even though BVJ is not running in 2021, they had to move forward with their biggest fundraiser of the year, the 50/50 draw.
“CRE named this year’s 50/50 draw “The Big One” because every dollar raised is BIG to us” says CRE President, Brent Byers. “We’re truly hoping that anyone across the province who has visited our facilities, attended an event or understands the importance of the CRE will help us. Tickets start at just $5 and we’re truly appreciative of any support we can get as every dollar goes back into our programs and facilities.”
“I don’t think people fully understand the importance of these societies, their venues and their programs to keeping rural Alberta alive” said CRE Executive Director, Dianne Kohler. “Our venues and programming are meant to serve our communities and drive economic sustainability which is why we were asked to build them decades ago. Rural communities count on their agriculture societies to be the gathering place in good times and bad while also continuing the important work of educating on Agriculture. The loss of even one society and all that they organize/host can have a devastating impact on that community and surrounding region. For example, the loss of BVJ for one year has a $20+ Million-dollar impact on the local Camrose economy and some small businesses that had been ordered shut during the 1st shut down, never reopened when they heard the news about BVJ 2020 not running.”
Agriculture Societies are the heart of rural Alberta and rural communities. They not only act as host to community gatherings but many also act as Disaster Response Centres in their municipalities. The shut down and the inability to host events has put all Agricultural Societies at risk including the Camrose Regional Exhibition. Some have fallen already and more will not reopen with another hit against rural infrastructure and rural community development.
Even though the CRE had a complete collapse of its revenue streams, we increased our free community programs such as hosting drive in movies, online zoom dance parties for children, giving away garden plots, launching our youth Leadership program and recording Rural focused podcasts as we knew the community needed us to step up with original programming so they could safely come together.
The funds needed to restart the organization and continue with the important programs developed during the shutdown are critical to CRE’s survival and ability to continue offering innovation in our programming. Every dollar is BIG to CRE!
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