Stampede sets new fundraising record

BRISTOL — Organizers said this year’s Three Day Stampede Toward the Cure for Cystic Fibrosis set a new fundraising record and was a smashing success.
“Every year we outdo ourselves,” event organizer Shawna Sherwin said. “I’m amazed by what this community provides every year.”
The Stampede is an annual giant yard sale, book sale and silent auction to raise money to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. The event raised $133,000 this year, up from the previous record of $125,000, set just last year.
This year’s total was bolstered by a $10,000 check from Bill James, the Bristol resident who turned 103 this month.
Sherwin said the crowds this year were bigger than ever before, and many people lined up outside the gates before the event on the Bristol Recreation Field opened each day.
“We had record crowds this year; just so many people,” she said.
Sherwin said the great turnout was a result of promotion, and praised WOKO radio and Heritage Toyota for helping to spread the word about the Stampede.
“The Heritage Toyota television ads really drew a lot of people from Chittenden County and further north,” Sherwin said. She added that people came from as far away as New York.
The Stampede ran from Friday, July 25, through Sunday, July 27. More than 400 items were included in the silent auction, and the event also included a lawn sale under 20-plus tents, a used book sale, bake sale and chicken barbecue, plus a so-called Food Bunker (“fair food at its finest,” the Three Day Stampede website trumpets). The Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club also organized a Saturday afternoon motorcycle ride that charged $25 per rider.
Country duo Branch and Dean performed at the Stampede and on WOKO Sunday morning. Member Steve Branch’s son died from cystic fibrosis in 2013, and the musicians have since become national ambassadors for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The Three Day Stampede started in 1993, and has since raised more than $1.5 million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which funds research of the genetic disorder. Bonita and David Bedard, Sherwin’s parents, have helped organize the event since their granddaughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a child.
In recent years, the Three Day Stampede has consistently raised more than $100,000 — $105,000 in 2012 and $110,000 in 2011.
Sherwin said the event would not have been possible without the around 140 people who volunteered.
“It’s an incredibly, finely oiled machine,” Sherwin said of the regiment of volunteers. “We had people 8 years old up to 75 years old.”
BILL JAMES, WHO at 103 is Bristol’s most senior citizen, poses with volunteers at the Three Day Stampede. James donated $10,000 of his own money to the event, a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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