The Invermere Family Resource Centre is the surprised recipient of a large sum of money thanks to none other than Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans. The award-winning Canadian country band was contracted to provide live music by K2 Ranch owners Bob and Barb Shaunessy over the May long weekend for Barb’s 60th birthday bash — a boot-stomping barn dance with over 300 people dancing up a storm in the restored 90-year-old barn on the ranch. The event raised over $10,000 in donations for the Family Resource Centre and an additional $8,000 or so for the Boys & Girls Club of Calgary.
“We encouraged everyone to make a donation as their entrance fee, otherwise it was free,” said Bob Shaunessy, “and we were successful in raising $10,700 for the Invermere Family Resource Centre and we’re quite proud to be able to do that.”
Prior to throwing the party, the Shaunessys contemplated splitting the total amount raised through entrance fees between the two charitable causes, but then decided to let each guest make up their own mind as to where they wanted their money to go. In the end, both organizations received almost the same amount, said Bob.
Family Resource Centre executive director Pat Cope said the funds will be used to support the women’s shelter which provides support services, including shelter and food, to women who are fleeing domestic violence.
“When Barb called to discuss the possibility of the family resource centre receiving these funds, I was pleasantly surprised that they chose our agency to support,” said Cope, “and after the event when Barb called with the amount that was raised, I was at a loss for words.”
“It was just amazing that they’ve generated that much money in an evening.”
The Shaunessys — who are partners in Tinhorn Creek Vineyards as well as being involved in the oil and gas business — are well-known in the valley for their generosity and community involvement. In last year’s Tour of the Arts, they offered the restored barn as a venue for one of the tour’s sites, which had a historical theme. Great benefactors of the Columbia Valley Arts Council as well as many other valley events, they’ve even played host to the epic multi-day mountain bike stage race, the TransRockies, which saw hundreds of tents set up around their property for one of the overnight stops.
“I think the Shaunessys are very community-minded people who, through their generosity, make a difference in the lives of many people in our valley,” Cope said, adding that the substantial donation is a reminder of the generosity and care that valley residents and visitors have for each other when it comes to helping those that need a hand up.
Bob said the band was set to play for 90 minutes, but ended up playing for four and a half hours, quitting only when Corb Lund announced he didn’t have any more songs left.
“It was one of the most amazing parties we’ve hosted,” he said. “At the end of the night, [our guests] all said they should have paid twice as much money.”