News Release

Mormon Teen Donates First Prize Winnings from Calgary Stampede Talent Search

On July 11, self-taught musician and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Christian Hudson of Airdrie, Alberta, topped the field of more than 300 performers to claim first prize winnings of $10,000 at the Calgary Stampede Talent Search — quite a windfall for an unemployed 19-year-old.

What would you do with an extra $10,000? In a world where many problems are caused by selfishness and greed, there are those who, like Hudson, look beyond themselves to improve the lives of others, who are raised to believe in a universal teaching of the Bible and the Book of Mormon that we are all brothers and sisters.

Like every contestant, Hudson entered with the hope of winning, but he didn’t decide not to bring home the prize if he won until a week before the finals. To save money, he had planned to “couch surf” with friends in Calgary, but was forced onto the streets after being evicted by a friend’s landlord. This provided him an opportunity to meet victims of tragic circumstances who lacked needed support and made him think, “This could happen to me.”

Spending this time with the homeless cemented his decision and resonated with teachings he had received growing up in the Church. Hudson has committed to donate all his prize money to the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre.

Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, teaches that in many instances our Heavenly Father answers another person’s prayers through us — through you and me — through our kind words and deeds, our simple acts of service and love.

Calgary Stampede Talent Search committee chair Andrew Bunka commented that Hudson’s gesture was a “true testament to the type of individuals” who competed. In particular, Bunka paid tribute to Hudson’s generosity and value system.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “There is power in our love for God and for His children, and when that love is tangibly manifest in millions of acts of Christian kindness, it will sweeten and nourish the world with the life-sustaining nectar of faith, hope, and charity” (“Be Anxiously Engaged,” October 2012 general conference,

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