Draw down kicks off rodeo month

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GUYMON, Okla. – Sixteen years ago, a volunteer with the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo ignited a spark, and the rest of the committee fanned the flames of an idea to help raise funds for the Oklahoma Panhandle’s biggest annual event.

The Rodeo Dinner, Dance & Draw Down was a hit from the start, and it raises a few thousand dollars each year to help produce Oklahoma’s only ProRodeo Hall of Fame event, which is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 30; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 1; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2, at Henry C. Hitch Pioneer Arena.

“This has always been a great little fundraiser for our committee, and I’m glad we’ve been able to continue it,” said Jeremy Carman, chairman of the volunteer group that organizes the rodeo. “This is one of the fun things we get to do together and that I hope brings the community out and brings the community together.”

This year’s dinner, dance and draw down will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 10, at the Pioneer Arena Hospitality Center. Tickets are $50, and each person who buys a ticket will be assured his/her place in the draw down. The winner will earn a $3,500 cash prize.

“This is a great chance for people who support our rodeo to make a little money while we raise funds,” Carman said. “We want to put on the best rodeo we can for the people in this part of the world, and this event helps us.”

A social hour kicks off the evening’s celebration, followed by a dinner at 7 p.m. There also will be other fun and games for those in attendance.

“This event stood by itself for a number of years, but we’re also combining it with our sponsor-appreciation event,” said Ken Stonecipher, a longtime member of the committee who was a big part of the original draw down in 2006. “The sponsors are provided a ticket and aren’t eligible for the draw down unless they buy a ticket for that.

“We want to give back to our sponsors, because they are the backbone that makes our rodeo possible. We want them to have as much fun even if they didn’t get entered in the $3,500 drawing.”

Much of the fun will be made by the evening’s music and dancing, led by the Buster Bledsoe Band, which is based in Amarillo. “It’s just a very fun evening of dancing, food and drink and a chance to celebrate rodeo in this region,” Stonecipher said, noting that Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo takes place the weekend prior to Pioneer Days. “This is really going to be the opening event for Guymon becoming Rodeo Town USA for about a month.”


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