Support at the Annual Rednecks with a Cause Gala was “overwhelming” says organizer Gary Mostert. In true Bonnyville fashion, Gary says the community rallied and the group received over 20 silent auction items the night before the event, sold out tickets, and raised the same amount of money they have in previous years; despite the recession.
“It was just amazing, people called me the night before and they just wanted to be a part of it,” Gary reports over 20 items were last-minute donations from businesses who wanted to help out. “A lady asked me, ‘how do you do this, year after year?’ and the answer is, I could write you the recipe but the one ingredient you’ll never find anywhere else, is Bonnyville!”
Rednecks with a Cause raises money for Autism related education and programming. The group announced Saturday that their big project for the year is upgrading and/or creating, sensory rooms at the local schools. Rednecks with a Cause donated $17,500 on Saturday in local schools. The sensory rooms are safe places for students to go when they are having a breakdown. Many students who use the rooms are afflicted by autism.
“Everyone in our group is emotional and overwhelmed with support,” reports Gary. “I don’t know how to put it. It’s such a heart-warming feeling to see our community come out like that. We raised, almost to the dollar, the same amount of money we raised in other years. In the middle of a recession we still raised over $37,800.”
The organization started an iPad fund at the event. Gary explains he asked the room who would be willing to donate $100 on the spot for a fund that will help give kids with autism iPads, 24 people immediately stepped up. (Article image is the 24 iPad Fund benefactors). “In the last four or five months, I’ve been getting a phone call, almost every month, from one of our service providers, in town, about families who can’t afford iPads for non-verbal children. As a group we decided we want to empower children, who can’t communicate with their parents and doesn’t have the means to afford the communication, AKA iPad, we want to empower them to start their communication journey.”
Once I mentioned the iPad fund, people were hopping out of their chairs to support. It was amazing! You can’t put it in any other words than AMAZING! – Gary Mostert Rednecks with a Cause
There will be a certain criteria to qualify for the iPad fund, Rednecks with a Cause is hopeful to get the criteria together in a month’s time. “If they qualify, we will go to the Apple store and get them an iPad and put the communication app on there for them. And they’ll be good to go!”
Check Rednecks with a Cause on Facebook for more on the iPad fund as the criteria is determined.