Rodeo event raises funds for scholarships

The third annual Mayor’s Charity Rodeo will be held in Alliston Sept. 9 and 10, rain or shine, at the Alliston Memorial Arena. Rick Milne, New Tecumseth Mayor, promises “a full two days of good rodeo, cowboys and cowgirls competing against one another in 7 different events.”

Proceeds from the event go towards the Mayor’s Bursary Program, a scholarship initiative assists local youth with financing their post-secondary education. This includes trade apprenticeships, youth groups and organizations and other educational, community service or athletic opportunities.

“We’re very happy that we’re going to run it again for our third year,” says Milne, “they’ve (the touring rodeo) been doing this for a little over 20 years and they put on a great show.”

It was Mayor Milne who started the event after realizing that the golf tournaments held by previous mayors were really not his scene.

“I’m not a big golfer, actually a terrible golfer, I’m a real duffer so I thought of something family wise and I happened to be involved with a rodeo at the time,” says Milne.

He spoke to the touring company and asked them to put a charity rodeo on.

In the first year alone, they issued bursaries for 18 young men and women to go to college and university. That number went up to 20 the following year that includes youth in the community involved in cross country skating and golf.

“We sponsored them, so anything to do with youth, it’s a family event for every rodeo we’ve had, we’ve always packed the place and they’re right there, right in front of the action,” says Milne.

One couple came out to rodeo after attending the Calgary Stampede and said it was the best rodeo they have ever been to.

“She said ‘we’ve been to Calgary Stampede; this is a lot better and I said ‘come on now, let’s be serious,’ explains Milne.

“She said ‘at the stampede, they put us way up in the stands and whereas here we are sitting right there where we can reach out and touch the animals’,” he goes on to say that they loved it so much they come every year.

Some highlights this year include a boat ride, acrobatic tricks from the cowboys themselves, and a guided tour of the animals.

“The biggest draw this year is the boat ride – and some of the cowboys are tricksters, so they stand up on the saddles and they jump from horse to horse,” says Milne.

The Humane Society is present at the event to monitor the animals in case anything goes wrong, but to date, there has not been a problem.

“We hope to have another great show, we’ve been promised another great show from the organizers and tickets are available from the ticket master or through the town itself or you can buy tickets on the day of the event,” says Milne.

Community partners include the Alliston Lions, Alliston Knights and Rogers Cable who have been televising it locally since the start. They also have no shortage of volunteers coming out to support the event.

For information, visit: www.ultimaterodeotour.com/p/new-tecumseth

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