ASGRA is proud to present Maryland Delegate Sheila Ellis Hixson as Grand Marshal for the 10th annual Atlantic Stampede. Ms. Hixson represents the 20th Maryland legislative district in the Takoma Park and Silver Spring areas of Montgomery County, having served in the House of Delegates since 1976. Since 1993, she has served as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in the Maryland General Assembly.
Delegate Hixson has offered a lifetime of service to our community, championing the causes of civil rights and social justice. Throughout her distinguished career, she has been at the forefront of efforts to promote civil rights, enhance educational opportunities, protect the environment and prevent child abuse, sexual harassment and domestic violence.
Delegate Hixson has offered unyielding support and has strived for more than a decade to win pas-sage of non-discrimination legislation for the Maryland GLBT community. Her efforts were rewarded during the 2001 session of the Maryland General Assembly with the pas-sage of The Antidiscrimination Act of 2001, a bill to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. This made Maryland just the twelfth state to pass comparable legislation, a proud achievement for all of Maryland and particularly for Sheila, whose commitment to equality has been long-standing.
For her enduring friendship to our community and for her sincere understanding of the importance of making Maryland "The Free State" for all of its citizens, we salute Delegate Sheila Hixson and welcome her to Atlantic Stampede 2001.
Atlantic Stampede 2001, our lOth anniversary rodeo, is dedicated to the memory of Dick McHugh, who passed away last February. Dick was best known as the long-time owner of the DC Eagle in Washington, where he developed a reputation of supporting the leather community and charities throughout the region.
It is only fitting that we recognize Dick's contributions to the Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association. Dick was a charter member of ASGRA and was the first person to provide us with sponsorship funding, giving a large proportion of the foundation money used to establish the organization. He offered essential business advice during the startup period and enlisted the DC Eagle as a sponsor for each of our previous rodeos. He also donated use of his antique cars for our rodeo Grand Entry.
A few years ago, he explained his interest in helping ASGRA get its feet on the ground. He didn't really think we would improve his business. He simply thought we had a great idea and that we would bring something truly original and beneficial to the DC gay community. He saw his sponsorship and involvement as a way to help us make it happen. He also confessed that the thought of gay cowboys was a real tumon to him.
These are the reasons why Dick was so dear to ASGRA. He was a keen businessman with a great sense of adventure, spiced with a dose of playful mischief. He was a generous friend who offered his support with no strings attached. We will miss his enduring interest in our success. He was a supporter, advisor, and friend-a man worthy of our dedication.