The announcement that the Sutter brothers are coming to the Ponoka Stampede and being honoured in the stagecoach that parades in the infield caused a stir of excitement last week.
Hockey fans will be eager to catch a glimpse June 28 as the brothers get a ride in the Stampede Stagecoach. They have become a household name in Canada for having six of seven brothers play with the Chicago Blackhawks or the St. Louis Blues at one point in their careers.
Members of the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce heard from Stampede director Blair Vold June 17 that the well-known hockey family is also signing a Ponoka Stampede flag with the association’s new logo.
The flag will be sold at the art auction June 28, with funds going to a good cause, said Vold. “It’s not often you get a signed flag with the Sutter brothers’ (signatures).”
Live pay-per-view during Stampede week
Recent changes in Shaw TV’s programming has changed how the Ponoka Stampede will be presenting its programs to viewers across North America this year.
Vold told chamber attendees that the Wrangler Network in the United States has chosen the Ponoka Stampede as one of its rodeos showcased this summer. Vold says Ponoka is the only Canadian rodeo that will appear on the network.
Rodeo fans eager to see Ponoka Stampede action but who cannot make it to Ponoka can also watch the full week of action online at www.gfl.tv. Viewers can either pay for a full week of rodeo or buy day packages.
Helping a young girl with her bucket list
With a little help from the Ponoka Stampede organizers and Mark Sutherland, World Professional Chuckwagon Association driver, a young girl with a life-threatening illness is coming to town to fill her bucket list of things to do.
Hadlie Hoglund is a young girl from Grande Prairie who was recently diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
DIPG is a tumor located at the base of Hadlie’s brain and when her parents found out about the issue, they decided to put together a list of things they would like her to see.
Her father Matthew said they started an Indiegogo.com fundraiser called Hadlie’s Bucket List with a goal of $20,000. “Within four hours of telling them (coworkers) ‘We’re good to go,’ we reached our goal.”
“It reinforces that there are great people out there,” he added.
Hadlie is going to have a chance to visit Mark Sutherland and get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a chuckwagon driver.
Mr. Hoglund says the help and care people have offered has been overwhelming and it has given his family much joy to see Hadlie happy. The Make-A-Wish Foundation has also sent the family to Disneyland to give her a time to remember.
“I wish we could bottle that (smile) and send it to everybody that helped out,” he stated.