For the past eight years now a group of South Cariboo women who share a love of horses have come together to benefit local charities.
The Cariboo Horsey Ladies, a sister group to the Armstrong/Salmon Arm Horsey Ladies, gather once a year every November to host a dinner, meet new friends with similar interests and share stories about their beloved animals at the Christmas Banquet and Charity Auction. Any money raised at the event, whih also has a silent auction and raffle draws, is shared between local Cariboo charities, chosen by the guests at the dinner.
“It’s a wonderful atmosphere. It’s horse talk and animal talk all night long — no one talks about their husband,” laughed Jenny Bakken, one of the volunteer organizers of the group.
She said every year the event, which is generously supported by local businesses, is getting bigger and bigger and this past November was held at Spruce Hills Spa and Resort to accommodate overnight stays for out of area guests. More than 90 women attended.
“Every lady who buys a ticket has a horse.”
This year’s lead organizer Cat Armitage added that this year’s event was the largest ever in their eight years of hosting it, with the majority of the women coming from 100 Mile House, but with women also coming from Kamloops, Clearwater, 150 Mile House and Williams Lake to take in the evening.
To choose charities, women stand up and speak of a worthy charity and at the end of the evening the guests vote where the money should go.
This year the most money, $1,500, was donated to the Williams Lake SPCA after Bakken told guests of how she adopted the “perfect” dog from the shelter this past summer. Now full grown, Bakken’s dog was on hand with her at the SPCA in Williams Lake to give the donation to Liz Dighton recently.
Second was $1,200 for Crooked Leg Ranch/Rescue in Quesnel and third was $1,125 donated to the E.L.S. Horse Rescue in the 108 Mile. Fourth was $1,022 for the Lone Butte 4-H Club.
Another $1,250 was also raised for a woman who lost her home.
Armitage and Bakken, along with fellow volunteers Lindsay Joyce and Kay Klippenstein, said they are looking forward to the charity event growing even more in 2019 and thank their business sponsors for all the support.