Volunteers make Roundup happen

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DODGE CITY, Kan. – It takes a small village to produce something as magnificent as Dodge City Roundup Rodeo.

With six days of world-class competition and a well-respected brand of entertainment, it takes many hands and many hearts to produce the biggest ProRodeo in Kansas. This year’s championship is set for 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1-Sunday, Aug. 5, at Roundup Arena; that also includes the Xtreme Bulls, which takes place Tuesday, July 31.

“Virtually everything that happens here is done by a volunteer in some capacity,” said Dr. R.C. Trotter, chairman of the committee that produces the annual event. “We have 200 volunteers work each performance.

“But that doesn’t reflect all the work it takes leading up to those six days of competition. There is work to be done around the facility, preparing for concessions, planning and working with sponsors. One of the big reasons we’re successful is because we have a big pool of volunteers to make it happen.”

And Roundup has a history of success. Nine times it has been selected as the Rodeo of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. In 2012, Roundup Rodeo was enshrined in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

In addition, Roundup utilizes local civic groups to assist in the process, then provides payments to those groups to help them with their ventures.

“This is a whole community celebration,” said Joel Redman, Roundup’s vice president. “We are a non-profit, so any money we make goes right back to those organizations in various ways. We’re putting on our rodeo for the sport and for the good of the event, and that’s trying to make it the best for our community.

“We’re always giving back to the community.”

But it’s not without labor. During rodeo week alone, dozens of volunteers spend nearly every waking hour either at Roundup Arena or doing something on behalf of the rodeo. Each morning begins with the first round of timed-event competition. Oftentimes, that progresses into the heat of an August day in western Kansas.

Then it’s time to return each evening to put on the kind of rodeo that entertains thousands of fans while producing a world-class event that features the very best that ProRodeo offers.

“There are some very long days in there, and by the end of the week, we’re all hot and tired,” Trotter said. “But that’s also the reward, because we all love doing this, and we look forward to it every year.

“We want to put on the best rodeo and offer everyone involved – the contestants, sponsors and fans – the best experience they can get.”


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