New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association
THE NMGRA WOULD LIKE to dedicate the second annual Zia Regional Rodeo to Charles Finley. As rodeo director, Charles Finley's dreams, aspirations and hard work made this rodeo a reality. The people of New Mexico, the Gay and Lesbian community and the spirit of rodeo have been the beneficiaries of his selfless contributions.
Charles Finley served as a board member for Albuquerque's largest community organization, Common Bond, and served on the board for the Albuquerque Social Club. A founding member of the NMGRA and a certified secretary of t he IGRA, he held NMGRA offices of parliamentarian, treasurer, trustee and rodeo director.
With the onset of AIDS, his leadership was felt throughout the state of New Mexico. As president of the New Mexico Association of People Living with AIDS, he successfully assisted in lobbying the state legislature for over $700,000.00 for early intervention, assistance and advocacy programs, and increased medical staffing at the University of New Mexico / Medical School Hospital. As a member of the Stale Materials Review Committee, he represented our community in the selection of texts and videos used to instruct kindergarten through twelveth grades on AIDS education. As co-chair of the Central New Mexico AIDS Consortium, he represented over fifty health, human service, social, religious, labor and educational organizations.
Charles Finley worked through the New Mexico Department of Education to bring a PWA's expertise and presence to seminars for students, faculty and PTA's in the state's school districts. He was appointed by the Secretary of Health and Environment as a chair on the New Mexico AIDS Task Force. In 1991, Charles testified before the state legislature for the passage of a Gay/Lesbian Civil Rights Bill.
Greetings Zia Rodeo Fans!
As ONE OF THIS years Grand Marshals, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the second annual Zia Regional Rodeo.
This annual event is an enormous undertaking, and many individuals who have contributed their time and talents need to be commended for their tireless dedication and just plain hard work. Proceeds from the Zia Regional Rodeo are donated to AIDS related charities in their battle to fight AIDS.
On behalf of the many people who have helped to make this rodeo a reality, thank you for making it a success. The rodeo staff is looking forward to hosting rodeo fans from across the nation. For those of you visiting from out of state, a special welcome. It is my hope that during your stay you will take the opportunity to experience and enjoy our Southwestern culture and hospitality.
Good luck to ail the contestants.
Enjoy the rodeo.
THANK YOUR FOR honoring me by selecting me to be one of this years Grand Marshals. With my co-Grand Marshal, Linda Cotton, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all rodeo fans to this years Zia Regional Rodeo.
During the past few years we have seen numerous changes in gay rodeo and havé watched it grow from afew fledgling states to covering much of the United States and Canada. It has been a source of great pride for me to see the country/western lifestyle in general and the rodeo spirit specifically grow in recent years. It has given the Gay and Lesbian Community a venue for unity and compassion for tho se afflicted with AIDS.
The Zia Regional Rodeo, being a state wide AIDS benefit, will quite probably be one of the biggest events of its kind this year. This rodeo weekend will allow contestants and spectators, residents and visitors from out of state an opportunity to have sorne fun, meet new people and make new friends while at the same time doing something good for the community.
I would like to extend a special thanks to ali the associations, businesses, sponsors and most especially the volunteers and the members of NMGRA for making gay rodeo a reality in New Mexico.
Best of luck to all the contestants. I hope y'ali have a memorable weekend in New Mexico.
Albuquerque, New Mexico