$120,000 Wish Comes True

North American Equine Ranching Group Sets Precedent With Largest Manitoba Donation of the New Millennium

“Going once, twice, sold to the man in the third row!” Ranchers at the inaugural NAERIC Horse Summit 2000 sent bidding cards flying into the air as an auctioneer rattled through bids at top speed over the weekend, generating the largest contribution of the newmillennium to The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada.

The ranchers, members of the North American Equine Ranching Information Council (NAERIC), raised $120,000 for The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada and The Make-A-Wish Foundation International during a first-of-its-kind estrogen gram auction at the Brandon, Manitoba event.

“We're extremely pleased with everyone's generosity, but I can't say we're surprised,” says Norm Luba, executive director of NAERIC. “Our members are family ranchers and they want what is best for everyone's families, theirs, their neighbors, everybody. They're just good-hearted people. And I'm just so proud.”

NAERIC members yield estrogen from pregnant mares' urine (PMU) for the production of the most prescribed hormone replacement drug in the world. At the auction, ranchers bid on grams of estrogen, donated by Ayerst Organics, to be credited to their businesses.

Seventy-five percent of the proceeds will benefit the Canadian foundation because a majority of NAERICís ranches are located in the prairie provinces; the other membersí ranches can be found in the fields of North Dakota, thus twenty-five percent of the proceeds will benefit The Make-A-Wish Foundation International.

“We are overwhelmed by this donation,” said Maria Toscano, the provincial director for The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada. “The members of NAERIC really went above and beyond what we expected. It's just fantastic, and we'll be able to do so much—grant so many children's wishes with this donation.”

Although the auction was the highlight of Horse Summit 2000, the entire weekend conference, held at the Keystone Centre, was an enormous success. The first-time cooperative effort brought in more than 2000 horse enthusiasts from all breeds and riding or driving disciplines from across Canada and the United States. The Summit included educational seminars such as the hands-on Youth Extravaganza skills clinic and professional break out sessions on topics such as horse psychology and marketing skills.

“We had a great time this year and appreciate everyone coming out and all the hard work and commitment of the companies and organizations that were involved to make this event such a success,î says Luba. “We know it's only going to get better!”

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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