Ron Jesser Award
is given to an individual who, although they did not place in their event for rough stock, demonstrated exceptional participation and support of others and their efforts throughout rodeo weekend. It is name, in honor of founding member Ron Jesser, who participated in many steer and bull riding events himself. Ron was a firm believer in rodeo safety. He encouraged, as well as, taught safety to new and experienced rough stock riders.
Daniel Bahr Award
is given to an individual who, although they did not place in their event for horsemanship, demonstrated exceptional participation and support for others dur-ing rodeo weekend. It is named in honor of CGRA member Danny Bahr, who spent much of his time traveling the IGRA circuit in hopes of placing in his horsemanship events, but was never able to. This award is dedicated to his memory and spirit.
Chuck Webb Award
is given to any volunteer, arena crew, or chute member who has demonstrated exceptional participation as a volunteer for the Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo. It is named in honor of CGRA member Chuck Webb who spent many years with chute crews and arena crews setting up patterns and preparing for events at Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo. His tireless dedication and spirit are memori-alized in this award.
Billy Blazek Award
is given to any rodeo official who had demonstrated exceptional participation and support of others as a rodeo official at Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo. This award is named after Bill Blazek. Bill was a long time member of CGRA. His enthusiasm and spirit for CGRA are memorialized in this buckle.
President's Award Buckle
is given for the outstanding contribution to the ideals of CGRA.
INCREDIBLE! twenty years and seven months ago, on September 13, 1981, CGRA was officially formed and the first board of directors was elected. I don't believe that any of us even perceived that our history could be as long and as rich as it has been!
Country/Western Dancing (two bodies touching each other, moving to the music) and events (Rodeo, Square Dancing, Picnics) or get-togethers that drew on the strength of the early West (integrity, honesty, family and friendships), were for many of us an immediate and direct response to the first onslaught of AIDS.
The creation of the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association fulfilled the needs of many to find the strength in themselves and to build a family of friends. It gave us an opportunity to WORK/FIGHT together to raise funds to fight AIDS (help our friends) and educated our community about the disease, as well as to educate the general population to the truths about the gay community (in opposition to stereotypes). While the Rodeo itself lasts only two days, the fun and comradery of the organization itself is shared 365 days a year.
The first nine-member board of CGRA had over 21 people serve in those positions and then step back when they found that it was a lot of work. The Board stabilized and by 1983, it incredibly found itself hosting a gay rodeo. (Reno, Nevada was the only city to stage a rodeo prior to that.)
I see CGRA in the same light as I do any other social group. All have their ups and downs, good times and rough times. All have a working percentage of their membership and a lot of members who applaud the working members accomplishments. But most of all, CGRA continues to service it's Community, by raising charity dollars to provide needed services for the welfare of the gay community ($20,000 in both 2000 and 2001).
Many people believe that all CGRA Members are always dressed Western (cowboy hat), but our membership. has had bankers, doctors, lawyers, interior designers, hair dressers, etc. Some have more fun on a disco dance floor, but ultimately they all enjoy the extended family of friends that they become a part of through Rodeo.
CGRA's future grows brighter each year because of the dedicated men and women who serve on the board and as rodeo organizers. I hope that even a few people can find just a tiny bit of the huge rewards that CGRA has given me. It provided me the first open doorway to begin to serve the community that I love. Those doors just keep on opening and I feel extremely rich!
It has been a wonderful journey so far and I am thankful to all who have let me travel along with them these past 20 years. I eagerly look forward to the rest of the voyage. So ... LET'S RODEO!!
Love and respect to all!!