COLORADO SPRINGS – The Rotary Rodeo in Starkville, Miss., raised $25,000 for local charities, and had a record turnout Feb. 10-11.
“It’s our largest fundraiser of the year, and supports all of our charitable events,” said Trey Breckenridge, the rodeo chair for the Starkville Rotary Club. “All the proceeds go toward community, humanitarian and educational charities.”
The club plans to spread the $25,000 across 30 different charities, including the Boys and Girls Club and Habitat for Humanity, while also buying dictionaries for elementary school students in the area.
“It will help a huge number of projects,” Breckenridge said.
Although the rodeo isn’t one of the biggest of the year in terms of payouts, it did attract some big names, such as 2016 World Champion Steer Wrestler Tyler Waguespack, who split the win with Tooter Silver at 4.2 seconds.
“It’s very exciting to have that caliber of contestant here,” Breckenridge said.
“That’s incredible, for a rodeo like Starkville to raise that much money,” Waguespack said, noting it felt good to know that just by competing there he and the other contestants played a role in the club’s fundraising efforts. “I hope they have the same success next year.”
The grandstands were filled both nights for a total of 6,000 attendees.
“It was the largest attendance we’ve ever had,” Breckenridge said. “And we had the largest number of contestants we’ve ever seen, and the most bull riders, too – right at 50 bull riders.”
The Rotary Rodeo added additional prize money for bull riding last year to draw in more contestants, and Breckenridge speculated it was starting to have an impact this year. He said the Rotary Club also extended its reach to attract more people to the rodeo.
“We have really grown this event, and the community views it as the rodeo,” Breckenridge said.
“It’s awesome for a small rodeo to have such a big production,” Waguespack said. “It draws bigger name guys, and people will want to come compete.”
Courtesy of PRCA