There is an old adage stating man can work from sun to sun but woman’s work is never done, and the Chicks for Charity prove that time and again with their relentless pursuit to raise as much money as possible for local charities throughout the community and central Alberta.
This year the Chicks, as well as all the ladies who attended and sold out the event, raised money for the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter, the Centennial Park playground, the Stepping Stones program, an AED for the Ponoka Youth Centre.
Held Saturday, June 27 at the Stage Coach Saloon, this was the fifth annual Chicks for Charity champagne breakfast. “It’s still pretty impressive to see all of you five years later, up so early, all dressed up and here to support a worthy cause,” said Chicks For Charity president Jane Wierzba.
“We’re fortunate to live in central Alberta, where people are always willing to step in and help out,” she added.
Over the previous four years the event has raised approximately $90,000 for a variety of causes.
The event offered a few new features this year, such as a grand prize purse auction and a revamped 50/50 draw. Women drawn in the 50/50 donned the stage to choose one of three wallets, one of which contained their half of the winnings. Most decided to re-auction the wallets; half the proceeds would be returned to the Chicks for Charity for its causes.
This year the tables also got to bid to line up first to eat and the breakfast auction raised $1,800.
The event also included well known staples such as the door prizes, silent auction and live auction.
Also in attendance was Miss Ponoka Stampede Ashley Akkermans, Miss Rodeo Canada Katy Lucas, Miss Rodeo America Lauren Heaton and Miss Rodeo Washington Katherine Merck.
“Empowered women in the western heritage is something very close to our hearts,” said Lucas. As rodeo queens she feels it is their duty to inspire young girls and others empower themselves.
“But you don’t need a crown for that,” Lucas continued, which it why she loved the Chicks for Charity event so much.
This year’s guest speaker told a story on the fight some people have to go through in order remain empowered in a world full of pain and suffering.
“To lose your mother at 17 year old is hard for anybody,” said Heidi Cabay.
“To lose your mother to murder at the hands of your father is unfathomable,” she added.
In the community, Cabay has coached minor soccer for several years; she is a personal trainer with Freedom Fitness, a mother and a wife. “I also volunteer with Ponoka Victim Services,” she said.
She told those in attendance at the breakfast she wears many different pairs of shoes in the community but the pair she wore for the breakfast was broken and beaten.
“I will forever be on a journey of healing,” said Cabay.
“Family violence is a vicious cycle and I was born into that and I have taken a different path,” she added. Cabay was told she would become a statistic but she knew that is not who or what she is.
Cabay says every morning she wakes up and it is up to her to fight to live her life in a better world rather than only in the world of pain and suffering.
She says it is the people in her world that have helped her and shaped her. “And it was my choice to let them.”
“I’m very honoured the Chicks for Charity asked me to come forth,” she added.