Ponoka’s “Outlaws” showed their grit to support the Ponoka Youth Centre (PYC) with $30,000 raised.
This year’s 10th anniversary of ATB Financial’s Outlaw Roundup brought a range of local celebrities to the Ponoka Legion June 28 for the annual pancake breakfast and fundraiser roundup.
PYC executive director Beth Reitz said being part of the first, and now 10th roundup is a real honour, plus, the money will benefit the organization’s programs.
“The money will go to teen programming because it’s hard to get money for that,” explained Reitz. “We’ve grown so much over the last year with all the kids we have.”
This is mainly for the kids in the 12 to 18 year range with programs hosted five days per week. “That’s everything from life skills to leadership to offering meals and drop in till 10 p.m. at night on a couple weekends.”
The biggest area of growth for PYC is in the meals. Reitz says the centre offers dinner five days per week and there is demand for it. She’s unsure how the centre will be able to continue funding that program.
This was the first year of the dinners, which started in January, and she says they plan to bring it back in September.
It’s become quite a popular program with the kids being the ones to help set up and clean up. “The amount of kids that we keep getting is incredible.”
Ponoka ATB branch manager Roy Scabar was excited to have the PYC as this year’s recipient. “It felt good to come full circle with the youth centre being first in our roundup.”
To ensure the pancake breakfast and roundup went well, the entire Ponoka branch was at the Legion to help with additional support coming from a few other ATB branches, said Scabar.
“We’ll feed 1,000 to 1,500 people today with the breakfast, so it’s a pretty big production,” he added, praising the staff for their efforts.
There is a chance this will be the last year of the roundup.
The idea of closing up the roundup has been floated around by organizers this year, said Scabar, as they are looking at different ideas for upcoming stampedes.
“I can’t say what that will look like,” said Scabar, adding that the 10 years is being looked at with fond memories.
“After Stampede we’ll sit down and do our review of everything…I’m guessing it will be the last one.”
Looking back at the last 10 years, Scabar says the hope is that when the final numbers are calculated, the roundup would have raised more than $250,000 (full numbers were not available at publication).
Regardless of the future, Scabar is proud of what the roundup has accomplished.
“That’s something we created right here at the branch,” said Scabar, adding his thanks to the many community members and outlaws who have put their name in to support the many causes.
Reitz added her gratitude to ATB Financial for such dedication.