How It All Started
We started fundraising after losing our mother to a painful three-year battle with breast cancer. We started out throwing events at nightclubs and pubs but quickly realized we just weren’t hitting our fundraising goals. One night, over a few beers we decided to started a raffle and host a backyard BBQ. We called up our network and asked for anything they could to donate to the raffle, then printed off thousands of raffle tickets. We hit up our friends and family to sell booklets of these raffle tickets and started to see some larger donations coming in.
Dougie (our dad) and our stepmom Marilynn (does she spell it like that with 2 n's or typo?) were generous enough to host the raffle draw and BBQ in their backyard. The first BBQ raised $22,000 with a performance from Daniel Wesley on the back patio. Our third year we had outgrown Dougie's backyard with over 350 guests. Thankfully the neighbours were understanding.
Jamie was the one that had the idea to throw a country concert. We decided to call up Dallas Smith and Aaron Pritchett to ask them to perform and they actually said yes! We were surprised as we had no idea what were doing at the time. We then were shocked to get the thumbs up from the guys at the Cloverdale Rodeo to use their venue. A few phone calls to rally a team, and the first Gone Country was born.
We raised $189,000 that year. We couldn’t believe the support we received and were absolutely hooked. We really could not do any of this without our friends, family and volunteers. We are so thankful for all of their support.
We have thrown numerous events since the original backyard BBQ… A beach party at the Langley Events Center, A black and white event at BMW Langley, we transformed an airport hangar into a nightclub for an evening, hosted a comedy night, and most recently served 250 guests at the Long Table Christmas Gala down the aisles of Potters Nursery which is now our new annual winter event.
This year will mark our fifth Gone Country and our 17th year of fundraising to fight cancer. We have never taken a penny and never will; Something we know our mom would be proud of.
See you all July 22nd!