We dedicate this program to the memory of two friends who have departed recently, reminding us that life is so fragile and each day precious. Yesterday is past, tomorrow is the future, but today is a gift...that's why we call it the present.
Dean John Berkan
Dean John Berkan, age 36 of Sacramento, CA, was fatally injured while he was preparing to make his first steer ride in an IGRA rodeo at the Atlantic Stampede '99 in Gaithersburg, MD, on October 2, 1999. He will be sorely missed by his friends at G.S.G.R.A. and on the I.G.R.A. circuit.
When someone we love passes on, They become a beautiful memory, So that we may carry them Forever in our hearts and They will always be with us.
Jack L. Jensen
Jack spent the last ten years of his life concentrating on living with, not dying from AIDS. Near the end, he was volunteering his time assisting persons affected with HIV/AIDS, using his experience and wisdom to assist others in his same situation. Jack worked tirelessly with HPWA (Helping People with AIDS) and the Ryan White Center. Late in 1997, Jack founded ASS A (The AIDS Service Society of Arkansas). He was awarded the Ryan White Center's Lifetime Achievement Award for his work.
Among the many accolades he received, was the honor of being Grand Marshal for Rodeo in the Rock '99. It gave Jack great pride and pleasure. A short time after the rodeo, Jack died. He is greatly missed for his hard work and friendship.
When we originally wrote his biography for the April rodeo, Jack wanted everyone to know that AIDS knows no boundaries, and it will kill you. AIDS is still very real and is running rampant in our state and country. Let Jack's death be a reminder to all of us that the battle is not over.
Ron was selected by I.G.R.A. Convention delegates to be honored as I.G.R.A. Finals Grand Marshal because of his exceptional service over many years. He began his involvement in gay rodeo in September 1985. Since then Ron has served the Arizona Gay Rodeo Association (A.G.R.A.) in many capacities including:
At the I.G.R.A. level Ron has served as:
Ron's long service as I.G.R.A. Secretary has made an indelible mark on virtually every aspect of the organization as he has taken minutes for uncountable meetings, including 9 conventions. As Secretary, he has had the unenviable responsibility of converting all the actions taken at convention into an annual update of the I.G.R.A. handbook.
"I feel very honored to be Grand Marshal for the 13th Annual I.G.R.A. Finals Rodeo and thank you all for your support throughout the past years. I have met so many wonderful people, including rodeo staff, contestants, and spectators, over the past thirteen years and I am very happy that I have been able to make rodeo a very integral part of my life. And, I pledge to you that I will continue to support and promote the objectives and goals of I.G.R.A. in every way I possibly can."