There are not many events that can claim the kind of longevity the Rumsey Ride for STARS has had over the last three decades, but then again there are not many events like the annual fundraiser.
30 years ago the ride was launched by the Rumsey Ag Society. Today it still enjoys great community support and a cause that many in rural areas can get behind.
“Over 30 years we have seen a lot of stuff with the economic downturns, BSE, forest fire and everything else, but the generosity of everybody donating to the riders or buying raffle tickets, or even coming down and helping out, there’s great community spirit,” said Rob Richmond of the organizing committee.
The Ride is this Sunday, August 11 a the Bar TL Ranch. While there are all kinds of activities, including a silent auction, special meal, a poker run, and raffles, at its heart is a trail ride, where participants raise pledges for STARS Air Ambulance. In its 30 year history, it has raised more than $840,000.
“If it isn’t broke don’t fix it,” said Richmond, but we do some tweaks along the way. One exciting way they are marking the anniversary is Dr. Gregory Powell, the founder of STARS, who also served as its CEO for 27 years will be attending the event.
Each year the ride honours a person or group that has contributed to the ride over the years, and for the 30th-anniversary ride, it is the Richmond family. While Rob Richmond has done an admirable job acting as a spokesperson for the event, the family roots are much deeper.
“That covers all the way back to my granny Stella Richmond, who was back at the early rides selling her quilts, and that’s where the quilt raffle came from, and my grandpa Bob and my dad, everyone knew as Gooch. He was a long-time volunteer that stood back in the weeds and if you needed something done he did it,” said Richmond. “This goes right through to today, my mom and my sister Joanne who is the hardest worker and my brother Ken and his family and of course Gooch’s Gang.”