JULY 3, 2015

As we celebrate our 15th anniversary this year, Kids Up Front is so excited to have been a part of the historic Calgary Stampede parade for the very first time!

Thank you to Shane Homes for your support of our dream and the dreams of many kids and families throughout Alberta!  We could not have done it without you!  Thank you to your staff volunteers for walking with us during the parade, and making our kids and families feel welcome!

Kids Up Front has had a dream for several years to participate in the Calgary Stampede Parade, and through conversations with a dedicated KUF volunteer in our Suite Ambassador Program, Steve Luft, the idea became a reality!  Steve used his construction and project management expertise to help us design, create and construct our mini Saddledome float, representing the experiences of our kids at sporting events, concerts and other special performances.  We appreciate the support of Taylor Shoup and the many volunteers from the SAIT Construction Project Management Students’ Club, who gave up countless hours and weekends to help us get our float “on the road” for July 3, 2015.

Thank you Steve for being not only a fabulous team lead, but also our Saddledome “driver”.  You made it look easy to get around those corners while taking selfies! We are so glad that the many students who volunteered were also able to walk alongside the float with us that day in celebration!

Cenovus graciously donated the parade platform to Kids Up Front, which provided the spark and inspiration to see this project through to completion.  Evan Patterson, Executive Director of Kids Up Front, rallied all the support, creativity and muscle needed to get this project underway and through the streets of Calgary.  We appreciate the team effort, and the long hours that you put in, Evan.

We also want to thank our many special guests on the float for volunteering your time.  With a 6:30 am start, it was an early morning for the kids and the day was hot!  We hope you enjoyed your once-in-a-lifetime experience as part of the Calgary Stampede Parade.

Our guests, volunteers and the crowds that lined the street were treated to a two-hour concert that happened right on our float! Our kids were truly front-row as an exclusive audience to the music and talents of Drew Gregory, an accomplished country music star from Standard, AB.  The kids loved the CDs! Thank you! Please check out his music here.

Drew has been a big believer and supporter of Kids Up Front and our programs.  You made many dreams come true that day, and we appreciate your tight performance schedule; Drew performed for two solid hours on our float and then had to rush off to perform at another concert immediately following the parade.  Thank you for your commitment to our kids, and for entertaining their song requests!  It was a day they will never forget.

We also want to thank Geoff at Tows R Us Calgary, for all your help in transporting and delivering our float over the course of work and on parade day.  With only a team of 3.5 staff, we could not possibly have done all of this without you!

Thank you also to Jason Ford who allowed us to store our float during the construction phase at a hangar at the Springbank airport.  It truly was too big to bring to the office…..the float could not have been completed without a large space to work in.  We appreciate the help you gave to us to make this dream come true for Kids Up Front.

Marcus Fryia, your amazing photography and creation of a special video for Kids Up Front captures the excitement of the day and the extraordinary efforts by all involved in the project.  Thank you for your significant contribution to our small charity; your support is invaluable.

As you can see, a project of this size really does require a large team of dedicated volunteers, and we at Kids Up Front are very thankful for everyone who supports our mission, our programs, and most importantly, the deserving kids in our community!

Your talents, passions, and personal contributions have helped shape our organization over the last 15 successful years, and for this we are very grateful.

Looking forward to making 2016 even better!