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Virgil Business Association looking for Stampede volunteers

The annual tradition is set for May 18 to 20 at the Virgil Sports Park
Rides will be ready for the weekend of May 17-20. FILE PHOTO

The Victoria Day long weekend is not far away. With May 18 to 20 looming next month, the Virgil Business Association is busy planning for the event. 

The first official Virgil Stampede was held on the sports park grounds in 1966, organized by what was then called the Virgil Businessmen, as a fundraiser for the town's first arena. 

The VBA typically works with the town to decide on large projects where stampede revenue can be directed. This year, the plan is for a three-season pavilion to eventually replace the one by the ball diamond in the Virgil sports park, to be used for community events, pending approval by the town.

For over 50 years the stampede has taken place on the long weekend in May, with all proceeds going back into the community. Over the years, more than $1.5 million has been raised through the stampede. 

Funds have been applied toward the sports park itself, as well as to both arenas, town swimming pools, school playgrounds, Pleasant Manor, Red Roof Retreat, sports groups, the Christmas Parade and renovations at the Court House. Recently, stampede funds were used to help build the pump track that is now in place in the Virgil Sports Park.

Volunteers, of course, are a big part of the success of the Virgil Stampede. Currently, the VBA  needs about 20 additional volunteers to work the gates at two locations, one on Creek Road and another on Lorraine Street, on Sunday, May 19. The available shifts are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Volunteer responsibilities at the gates include helping with parking and collecting admission fees. The VBA will supply a security team at the gates this year that will take care of bag checks and other general security issues. 

If you are interested and have time available that Sunday, contact Sharon VanNoort at [email protected].

The nickel sale is also looking for volunteers to sell tickets in the Mary Snider room, with shifts of either three or four hours, all three days. Revenue from the nickel sale will go to Red Roof Retreat. To volunteer contact Penny Coles at [email protected].

With files from Penny Coles


Mike Balsom

About the Author: Mike Balsom

With a background in radio and television, Mike Balsom has been covering news and events across the Niagara Region for more than 35 years
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