The Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation, founded three years ago as the philanthropic arm of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair, will expand its outreach program this year.
In 2014, the foundation began by raising money over the course of the year in order to offer two scholarships to local students worth $500 each. Since then, they’ve expanded to offer financial support, resources, volunteers and mentors to youth initiatives in Surrey and the Lower Fraser Valley.
In 2016, the foundation awarded three $1,000 scholarships to Surrey high school graduates Taylor Monastersky, Owais Ghory and Harsuman Benipal, who each volunteered hundreds of hours to events and charities in Surrey.
They also supported local charities, including Ronald McDonald House at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Sophie’s Place.
This year, they expect to expand their outreach even more, and to do that they will be hosting a number of fundraisers in 2017, including an event at Krause Berry Farms in April.
“We realized that we wanted to do more than give out a couple of scholarships a year,” said Foundation Chair Nicole Reader. “We wanted to do more for our community and our students. We wanted to support youth in the Fraser Valley and foster relationships with them.”
The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair receives anywhere from 120 to 140 volunteer applications from local youth a year. Reader said that, in recognition of how youth donate their time to their community, the foundation wants to give back, whether that be by opening their facilities for youth-led fundraisers or events, such as donating the Agriplex for Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary’s graduation ceremony, or by providing experienced volunteers and mentors to support local youth organizations.
“It’s so great to be able to give back to the community,” said Reader.
“Recognizing and celebrating some of the many outstanding young people who give so much of themselves and their time to support this city is incredibly rewarding,” said Reader.
Foundations and initiatives will be able to submit applications for support or resources when the foundation’s website goes live in early Spring.
For more information, visit www.cloverdalerodeofoundation.com.