Sheldon Kennedy's Child Advocacy Centre to get a boost from Ranchman's Renegades Charity Bullbustin event
Posted byon June 02, 2015
Graham James certainly deserves, and will receive, no credit.
But every time the convicted pedophile is back in the national spotlight — this time for the alleged sexual assault of yet another one of his former players — it brings further attention to all of the good things Sheldon Kennedy is doing at his Child Advocacy Centre.
"Any time Graham James surfaces in the newspaper, it heightens the public's knowledge (of sexual abuse against children)," said Kennedy, who was the first to come forward against James, sending the disgraced former junior hockey coach to prison in 1997.
"And it gives us an opportunity to keep discussing the issues.
"But the Advocacy Centre is moving right along. We just need to make sure we're doing the best we can for kids and families."
Kennedy's initiative will, once again, be front and centre at the 16th annual Ranchman's Renegades Charity Bullbustin.
The three-day Sun-sponsored event runs June 30 to July 2 and also supports Project Warmth and Child Find Alberta.
"The Bullbustin event is a critical piece to make sure we're an integral part of the community and reaching all corners of it," Kennedy said. "I think last year was a huge success. (Producers) Cody and Rhonda (Snyder) always do a great job and the bullriders were phenomenal.
"It was a success because people embraced it. It's an event that brought people together to help understand these issues better as a community.
"And we all need to be pulling on the rope together."
Snyder was pleased the union with Kennedy will continue after debuting at last year's event.
"It went great," the '83 world champion bullrider said. "We raised about $75,000 for the Advocacy Centre.
"We're looking at going over that substantially this year."
With only a handful of tickets left for what has become Calgary's unofficial kickoff to the Stampede, Snyder said local businesses continue to support the PBR-sanctioned event despite the downturn in the economy.
"Calgary has really stepped up again," Snyder said. "Businesses and people are supporting this charitable event. The support has been great."
Last year's roster was a star-studded group of bullriders, which included the No. 1-ranked PBR bullrider in the world.
Snyder expects another top-tier group next month.