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Bristol Three-Day Stampede beats all records

BRISTOL — The numbers are in, and this year’s Three-Day Stampede is one for the records.
In its 21st year, Bristol’s Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fund-raiser has generated more than $102,000 in donations, smashing the previous record of $100,000 set in 2009.
“We’re already inching up to the $103,000 mark,” said event co-founder Bonita Bedard. “Donations come in that we don’t expect and we always get a little bit afterwards.”
Volunteers from as far as California came to Addison County this year on July 29-31 to help run the Stampede, which included a lawn sale, silent auction, walkathon, 5-kilometer run, “Zumbathon” Zumba dance event, and more.
The secret to this year’s success?
“As always our volunteers are tweaking the process and making things more shop-able in the lawn sale and silent auction, and every improvement makes it easier for people to find what they want,” said Bedard.
But that’s only one part of it. In today’s economic climate, she thinks that people want to purchase necessities at an ultra-affordable rate — which Bedard said the Stampede’s lawn sale and silent auction can offer.
“I think in the present economy an event like the Stampede helps people get things they need at an affordable price … that’s what people are looking for,” Bedard said. “They need to be able to buy their kids school clothes and bikes … and we had virtually all of it there.”
Furthermore, the Stampede enjoyed clear blue skies for much of the weekend, and its reputation has continued to spread. The walkathon and 5-kilometer run surpassed their revenues from last year by $1,000 each, and Bedard said that the Zumbathon dance event was a blast.
“My expectations are always that we have an event that is safe and well received, and if we match the number from the year before I’m thrilled. So this year way surpassed our expectations,” said Bedard. “We’re just delighted and blown away.”
At the end of the three days, the items that were left over from the lawn sale went to the John W. Graham Emergency Shelter for the Homeless in Vergennes and to Planet Aid, a nonprofit dedicated to helping impoverished nations. The remaining books were recycled and metal objects were sold to a collector.
In the wake of this year’s Stampede, Bedard is already looking toward the last full weekend in July 2012, when the Stampede will hit Bristol once again. But for the moment, she’ll pause to look back on a successful year and send her graces out to the community.
“I want to say a truly heartfelt thank you to everybody in this community from the shoppers to everyone who donated to the auction and the lawn sale to the sponsors who are there for us every single year and the new sponsors every year, the walkers, runners, Zumbas and Red Knights and the people who lent us equipment and most of all to the incredible volunteer team we have,” said Bedard.
“It’s just the most amazing group of people ever. … They move a mountain and then they move it out.”
Reporter Andrew Stein is at [email protected].
 
 

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