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Chuckwagon Drivers Harness Support for Children with Special Needs

Sunny skies and bright faces were seen Monday morning at the Strathmore Stampede grounds as hundreds came to support the children of Pacekids Programs at the 2nd annual Wagons for Wee Ones, presented for the members of the World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA).

For the second year in a row, the Sutherland family reined in members of the WPCA to benefit another deserving children’s charity, Pacekids Programs. This year proved to be an overwhelming success as hundreds of people – including chuckwagon drivers and outriders, their families, their sponsors and their fans along with members of the Pacekids community – came out to enjoy a pancake breakfast and live auction, which raised nearly $9,000.00, including corporate and personal donations. (Pacekids also benefited from an additional $6,000 of in-kind support, including one-evening tarp advertising during Strathmore Stampede courtesy of Emco Corporation, Kirk Sutherland’s sponsor.)

The Sutherland family hopes to continue on with the Wagons for Wee Ones tradition, with the support of the WPCA. Event founder, Misty Kolozetti (nee Sutherland) explains the connection, “for many of the drivers family is everything and the racing community is built on lending a hand to those in times of need. Being able to support kids and their families who deserve it most is, and will continue to be, what this event is all about, a perfect fit for the chuckwagon community that I grew up in.”

Receiving third-party funding is crucial to the maintenance and advancement of Pacekids and their programs for children with special needs. Alex Reed, Executive Director of Pacekids, is grateful for the efforts put forth by Sutherland family: “Programs such as ours, and the need for them, is unbeknownst to most Albertans, making events such as Wagons for Wee Ones a two-tiered success – bringing awareness to our programs while raising funds to ensure every family in need is able to benefit from all that our pediatric experts provide.”

Pacekids works towards improving the physical and mental capabilities of children with special needs within the Calgary area. Not only do these programs benefit the children, they help their family members better their understanding and skills while helping their little ones reach those important milestones. Through fundraising contributions such as the 2nd annual Wagons for Wee Ones, Pacekids is able to continue these important efforts.

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