Fundraiser Aides Animal Rescue

Cremona, AB got its’ socks rocked off on May 31 when Bear Valley Rescue (BVR) hosted their Dueling Pianos LIVE! from Las Vegas fundraiser. The event featured a silent auction and musical duels with Las Vegas performers Van Walraven and Lark Knowles, who took song requests from the audience.

The rescue is a non-profit that began in 2004 after founders Mike and Kathy Bartley started to save horses from PMU farms that were due to be culled. They currently have over 150 horses on 80 acres, and also take in other farm animals who have been surrendered, abandoned or abused such as pigs, goats, llamas, chickens, cows and donkeys.

Event organizer Krystle Meek bought her first acreage last year, decided to foster cows through BVR and was impressed by the care they show. “I noticed how much work they do and how long their days are,” Meek says. “It became apparent to me how much time, money and effort this place takes. They have well-kept surroundings for the animals, and it’s really just common sense that any little bit will help. So, I just thought I’d do my little bit.”

Money raised will go toward vet and food bills, fencing, building upgrades and other improvements. A crowd of 136 people gathered that night and raised $9,672 for BVR. Auction items ranged from golf jackets, massage certificates and feline/canine vet packages to a large, framed Secretariat picture signed by the jockey which brought in $1,000.



Meek mostly used Facebook, word-of-mouth and calls to friends for promotion, but also took advantage of free non-profit advertising in several newspapers and did an interview for 96.5 CKFM. That led to the station playing complimentary ads numerous times a day for a few days, and she feels “this really helped bring in the last crunch of ticket sales.”

Of the event Meek says, “It was so great to look around the room and see people having so much fun. I was truly blessed to have such success, especially as most of the attendees were retired or have young families.” She adds that having support when organizing can help more than you might know.

“Tickets were much harder to sell than I thought they would be, and all my friends bought tickets so I could cover my costs. Because of many wonderful people spreading the word, it not only turned out well, but was a huge success! I could not have done it without so many supportive people around me.”

How do you get help in event planning from your family and friends?