To the editor:
This year’s Three Day Stampede toward the Cure for Cystic Fibrosis was a record breaker in every single category of the event. The proceeds from the Stampede, all of which go directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation which is the most efficient charity in the use of money, surpassed $103,000 this year bringing us to a grand total of over $1.1 million since we began the fundraiser nearly 21 years ago.
The Stampede has become a true community event with support from every segment of the Town of Bristol, County of Addison, State of Vermont, and even across the country. Businesses become sponsors of the event, which provides not only financial support but also credibility for the Stampede and inspiration to everyone who sees their name mentioned in all of our marketing efforts.
In addition to our sponsors, the Stampede is made possible by the generosity of folks donating items to our huge lawn sale. Most everyone who comes to our drop off location during June and July have a “Stampede Spot” in their garage or cellar where they store things that they want to donate to The Stampede. Three tractor trailers and a warehouse full of things that earned us over $40,000 this year.
The silent auction also depends on the generous donations of all kinds, from a used car from G. Stone Motors to a septic pumping from Clark Septic to keep the auction growing, this year over $23,000. Friends of the Stampede lend us equipment, 4 wheelers, trailers, tents, tent stakes, barbecue grill and even barbecue sauce from the Lincoln Fire Department. Of course, with all of that, without the dedicated as well as new to Stampede shoppers who buy and bid on everything that everyone donates the Stampede wouldn’t be possible.
In the history of the Stampede, the volunteers are legendary. We hear from everyone who attends our event, how wonderful it is to see how organized the event is, how motivated the volunteers are, their dedication to constantly tweak and improve the shopping experience for our customers, their willingness to do everything from hammering in tent stakes, unloading trailers and the warehouse, to cleaning the toilets, all the while with smiles on their faces.
We have volunteers who have been with us since the beginning and we have new volunteers who have already signed up to work next year. We have many, many of our volunteers who take vacation to work for the full week that it takes from set up on Tuesday to returning equipment on Monday, each and every year. Our volunteers range in age from folks in their 70s and 80s to preschoolers. These people inspire and refresh everyone who comes in contact with them. As my granddaughter, Kayla, who was the inspiration for the Stampede, always says, “These people are my Stampede family and I love them all!”
Saying thank you to everyone who makes the Stampede possible always feels impossible to us, since the Stampede truly belongs to everyone, but know that the Stampede is only possible because of everyone who touches it and we are so proud and grateful to be part of it!
Bonita Bedard, Bristol