Friday, 25 August 2017 07:00

Cypress Hills Wish Ride raising money to grant children’s wishes

Written by  Justin Seward
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A horseback ride in the Cypress Hills Inter-Provincial Park is a breath-taking experience that one should not pass up if the opportunity presents itself, but knowing a participant is riding to help sick children’s dreams come true makes the experience that much more meaningful.

The sixth annual Cypress Hills Wish Ride will take place at the Historic Reesor Ranch in the Cypress Hills Sept. 9 to help raise funds in support of children’s wishes in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The Children’s Wish Foundation grants a wish to those children between the ages of three and 17 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illnesses.
Irene White and Roger Matas originally started the Alberta Wish Ride in 2009 and hosted the event for eight years before asking Scott and Theresa Reesor to continue it.
“They wanted to take on less and less than what they were taking on themselves,” said Scott. “They were still involved last year, but didn’t want to carry it on themselves … (and) figured it was a cause worthwhile and we still host the event here at the ranch. If they (the wish kids) can have a great thing happen to them then they could possibly change the whole course that they are going on. We’re just happy to be able to host it here at the ranch and be a part of the whole atmosphere and giving back to others who are less fortunate.”
“It’s a group of riders who get together and we go once a year for a trail ride,” said Andrea Slofstra, Cypress Hills Wish Ride co-ordinator along with the Reesors.
Slofstra found inspiration to help with the ride when she walked into the Toronto Sick Kids Hospital a number of years ago, which was an eye-opening experience.
Her own life issues couldn’t compare to what these young children had to endure.
“When I heard about it from a friend of mine from back home in Saskatchewan who had gone on it and I just thought, ‘this is such a great cause to get involved in and raise as much money as I can and grant wishes for kids,” said Slofstra. “I love raising money for it and I hope we can keep going with it.”
There will be one and four-hour trail rides available. The riders have to raise a minimum of $100 that can be funded by themselves or get help through pledges in order to participate. Riders are encouraged to raise more and asked to have an Alberta Equestrian Federation or a Saskatchewan Horse Federation membership.
Sign-up can be done through emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phoning Slofstra at 403-502-0029. Non-riders are also welcome to participate. More information can be found online at:
In the eight years total the ride has taken place, it has raised more than $350,000 for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada for the Alberta and Northwest Territories.

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