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Annual Cowgirl Cattle Company Rendezvous coming in May

Individual tickets are $100 each, and a table of eight is $750 (purchased and paid by one person).
The Cowgirl Cattle Company is holding its annual fundraiser celebrating western heritage and agriculture next month.

When Jill Richards and her sister Judy MacKenzie started the Cowgirl Cattle Company, they never envisioned the rendezvous would grow into an annual thing and raise so much money for charities.

Or be this much fun.

A month from now, on Saturday, May 4, the 25th Annual Cowgirl Cattle Company Rendezvous at the Madden Community Hall will prove that you just never know.

Any newbies considering joining in the fundraiser can be reassured they don’t really have to be a cowgirl to take part. It sounds like it’s more a state of mind than a formal designation.

An evening of camaraderie amongst like-minded women who share an appreciation for agriculture, and the western heritage and lifestyle, it marks the only event on the Cowgirl Cattle Company’s social calendar for the year.

As well as a chance to support the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society, attendees will enjoy activities such as: browsing through merchandise from various vendors, savoring a delectable dinner (rumour is Alberta beef) and drinks prepared by the firefighters, and participating in a silent auction.

Since their inception in 1999, the Cowgirl Cattle Company has donated almost a quarter of a million dollars to various charities. 

Past Rendezvous have donated profits to breast cancer research organizations, the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society (last year’s recipient), Children’s Wish Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Jimmy Richards MS, Ronald McDonald House, and STARS air ambulance, among others.

Richards cautions those interested in coming to act fast to avoid disappointment, as tickets are selling like hotcakes, and it’s not a big hall.

Individual tickets are $100 each, and a table of eight is $750 (purchased and paid by one person).

Doors open at the Madden Hall at 4 pm on May 4. This year’s guest speaker is Cherie Copithorne-Barnes.

What is the Cowgirl Cattle Company?

The ideals of the Cowgirl Cattle Company include things like preserving western heritage, history, and the values of hard work, community, and sharing.

Their statement on the website says, “We honour and respect agriculture, whether it's ranching, farming, 4-H, rodeo, or related endeavours.”

The CCC is producing the first almanac of its kind, to be called the Cowgirl’s Almanac of Ranch Wisdom, Remedies & Recipes.

The book will recognize past and present cowgirls for their contributions to the ranching and rodeo industries in Western Canada over the last century and beyond. It will be on display at the Rendezvous.

The 6” x 9” coil-bound Almanac will include sayings, sage advice, ranch family histories and their brands, remedies, photos, and a few old-time recipes.

Erol’s Automotive in Cochrane has donated $1,000 to the CCC for use in the Cowgirl Almanac, becoming their first “Wrangler.”

CCC "Wranglers" encompass businesses, private individuals, ranches, associations, and more who believe in the significance, acknowledgment, and promotion of agriculture. This may include auction marts, farm dealerships, feed outfits, co-ops, farm supply stores, associations in the agriculture industries, and similar entities.

“The level of support, whether monetary, service-based, or in goods, is secondary to recognizing the value and respect for the industry that sustains us,” the CCC website states.

Richards says it another way.

“We are all about the cow,” she said.

Her grandkids now represent fifth generation Albertans. Two sons are raising cattle, but some of the offspring may be more familiar with computers than cows.

Richards said when she goes to them for IT help, they tell her she’s “going to be in the hillbilly hall of fame.”

“I just tell them that’s good – all our friends will be there.”

While May 4th promises to be a fun evening, Richards said they don’t get too crazy.

“Usually we’re all cleaned up well before midnight,” she said. “We have chores to do in the morning.”

She said this year they may have visitors from as far away as Saskatchewan, but most of the participants come from a radius of about 50 miles. 

Their core values wrap around the belief that agriculture doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

For more information on the Cowgirl Cattle Company, including how to purchase tickets, contribute to the almanac or the organization, or to become a Wrangler, go to

Or email [email protected].


Howard May

About the Author: Howard May

Howard was a journalist with the Calgary Herald and with the Abbotsford Times in BC, where he won a BC/Yukon Community Newspaper Association award for best outdoor writing.
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