Carefor takes the Winchester Legion’s Great Canadian Cow Race

Commentator Hugh Fawcett and wife Dianne Fawcett, stand on the announcer's wagon with the participants and volunteers in the Winchester Legion's 2020 Great Canadian Cow Race. Front, from left: Shannon Sell, Tina Asselin, Janine Fawcett, Cindy MacIsaac, Terry Wagner, Blake Fawcett, Bruce Morris, North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser and Dale Myers (before his haircut). Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

But you can still contribute to all of the involved charities!

WINCHESTER — The display of bovine athleticism for good causes got underway Aug. 8.

The wooden replica cows and their intrepid riders entered the “gates” for the 3rd annual Great Canadian Cow Race put on by the The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 108 Winchester. Six charities were “in the running” at the event restricted to volunteers during these Covid times — but later broadcast on NVN.

In the end, the dice found favour with Terry Wagner, who crossed the finish line first to capture the Legion’s $300 donation for Carefor Health & Community Services. And in the event’s surprise grand finale, Dale Myers sheds his locks and then beard under the cow clippers wielded by experienced cattle groomer Blake Fawcett. The shearing of Myers was the idea of Hugh and Dianne Fawcet — Hugh served as emcee and race announcer — which raised $675 alone.

See the complete competition, below.

Members of the Legion individually contributed $50 to the impromptu trim while Dan Pettigrew of Winchester Foodland and Ed Duncan of JED Express topped up that tally with higher individual donations as well.

The Legion’s Blake Fawcett — rider of Community Food Share’s ‘Hungry Howe’ cow in the original-six-themed race — noted it was Carefor’s second year crossing the finish line first. “Carefor will be the recipient of the Legion cheque,” declared Fawcett, who also thanked Legion members Dale Myers and Tina Asselin for hosting the race in their back yard.

In a nod to the Winchester Dairyfest festivities where the race normally occurs, a Holstein-suited Fawcett had earlier serenaded the small audience of volunteers with “I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo.”

Wagner offered his thanks on behalf of Carefor and particularly the Nor-Dun Seniors’ Support Centre. Wagner’s mount — named ‘Carl Capone’ — got the “spa treatment” at Nor Dun a day earlier, he quipped.

“As a Legion member, I’m so happy to be able to participate in this event,” said North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser, after doffing the blond wig he wore as part of his New York Rangers’ Gretzky getup. Riding “the Lone Ranger” cow in support of Dundas County Hospice, the mayor added it was “so very important” to continue supporting local charities during the pandemic. “I didn’t win because Carl Capone is a mobster!” he exclaimed in conclusion. “I think I could have beat him, but during these political times, I had to be very careful.”

“I got a free haircut out of this,” observed Myers in his concluding remarks. This year’s theme came out of the idea of maintaining one hockey-stick’s safe physical distance, he pointed out. “And it just kind of exploded from there…. We based this one on the original six and had a great time,” said the Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation rider, who wore a Boston Bruins jersey while straddling cow ‘ORRdalee.’

Asselin and Janine Fawcett both demonstrated great puck-handling skills while shooting the dice to determine each player’s move as the race progressed.

Rounding out the field were Naomi’s Family Resource Centre’s ‘Mrs. Robinson’ with Bruce Morris (Montreal Canadiens), and Veterans for Service Dogs’ CUJO with Cindy MacIsaac (Toronto Maple Leafs).

All of the involved charities were winners as the event serves as a platform for each of them to collect from the public. You can still donate a canadahelps.ca.

See the end-of-race highlights, below.
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