Bragg Creek community members pulled together to support the Canadian Red Cross' Ukrainian relief efforts on March 25, contributing $18,420 toward the cause during an evening fundraiser hosted by the Powderhorn Saloon.
The fundraiser included bingo, silent auction, and raffle components. The caterer – Rani's Rasoi – donated $10 from every plate of East Indian cuisine sold, and the Powderhorn Saloon provided 25 per cent of the day's sales revenue.
“It was a small-town, good-ol' fashioned fundraiser,” said Rose Dallyn, the Powderhorn Saloon's owner and manager.
Dallyn noted the Powderhorn Saloon is no stranger to putting on fundraising initiatives. In previous years, she said she has organized events to raise money for Haiti following an earthquake in that country, and the bar has also raised money for a local hospice society that cared for the mother of one of her employees before her passing. Yet another fundraiser was held to support the Diabetic Society of Canada after a Powderhorn employee passed away.
“We've raised a lot of money over the years – it’s a really good town,” Dallyn said.
When it came to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, which has been under attack by Russia's military since Feb. 24, Dallyn said it was a no-brainer to try and help in any way she could.
“I think just like everybody at the moment, we’re all watching the news, and what’s been going on is pretty horrifying,” she said. “There’s a need to help in any way we can.”
Despite only 12 days of planning, Dallyn said the March 25 event went off without a hitch. She said silent auction items that were donated included everything from pairs of Calgary Flames tickets, to a week's accommodation at a condo in Mexico, to free cords of firewood, or local massage packages.
“Everyone with or without a business donated,” she said. “It was pretty incredible, the response we got from the town.
“I’ve done fundraisers before for different things, but this was the most I’ve ever raised.”
The $18,000-plus that was raised in Bragg Creek will support Canadian Red Cross, whose Ukraine emergency relief fund currently surpasses $82.5 million.
Financial donations to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal can be made online at redcross.ca, by calling 1-800-418-1111, or by texting UKRAINE to 20222 to donate $10.
Residents of Bragg Creek are always quick to jump on a good cause, according to Dallyn, and the March 25 fundraiser was no different. She said she knows a few Ukrainians who call the hamlet home, and said one Ukrainian gentleman even spoke on stage at the Powderhorn Saloon's event about his family members who are still in Ukraine, and his ties to the country.
“It was awesome and he gave everyone more of a connection,” Dallyn said.