Bristol pitches in for a good cause

BRISTOL As the fifth tractor trailer fills and opening day creeps closer, the fifteenth annual Bristol Three-Day Stampede Toward the Cure for Cystic Fibrosis is looking better than ever. This years big event occurs July 25-27. The community event, which consists of an amazingly well-organized yard sale under 25 tents, a silent auction with over 300 items (including round trip airline tickets), a used car and original art, a chicken barbeque, a food bunk featuring handcut fries, a bake sale, a walk-a-thon with 5k race, and a craft and flea market, has become a popular summer destination for local residents and tourists. We have shoppers and volunteers that plan their summer vacations around the stampede so they can be here, said Bonita Bedard, founder and organizer of the Bristol Stampede. Bedard became connected to the cystic fibrosis cure effort when her granddaughter, Kayla, was born with C.F. nearly 19 years ago. Kayla was the inspiration for this event because we just couldnt sit back and do nothing, said Bedard. In the last 15 years this event has become its own life force and we have met so many amazing people who have become our family, we couldnt do it without them. All of the money raised during this three day event (last year $97,000) is sent directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation which spends 90 cents of every dollar on research and programs. For more information on Cystic Fibrosis, current research or programs, visit the foundations website at www.cff.org. This event is so successful because of the community that we are in, said Bedard. All of the local businesses that donate items, time, food and energy and our incredible group of volunteers and shoppers are who make this event happen. Its addicting, its contagious, its magic.

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