International Gay Rodeo Association convenes in Vegas, Inaugural Paladin Award to be presented to Autry National Center
The inaugural Paladin Award dinner to support the Gay and Lesbian Rodeo Heritage Foundation will take place on Sunday Nov. 12 at 6:30p.m. at the Tuscany Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, immediately following the 2012 International Gay Rodeo Association Convention. Individual tickets are $100 and a group rate is available.
This dress up western award dinner will honor one individual or group with the first ever "Paladin" Award. The "paladin" term has long been used to recognize the "hero of a cause" and in this case it has a western heritage theme. The Paladin Award will be presented annually. This year has special significance as the inaugural award presentation.
The first Paladin Award recipient will be the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, California. In May of 2009, the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA) voted to donate its archives to the Autry for permanent inclusion in the Autry Library rodeo collection, making the Autry the first major western history institution anywhere to formally recognize the contributions of the GLBTQ community to the history and culture of rodeo.
The thirty-five year archives were personally delivered by IGRA historians, carefully driven over the Rockies from Denver, Colorado, where they had been stored in the basement of the iconic gay bar Charlie's.
Through a grant-funded project awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Autry is currently processing approximately 50 linear feet of archival IGRA records. As a result of this historic cooperative effort with the Autry, the IGRA story is now assured for use by scholars, historians and students of rodeo in perpetuity. With the blessing of Mrs. Gene Autry herself, this bold, courageous and proper step by the Autry has paved the way for other western history museums to follow suit.
The Gay & Lesbian Rodeo Heritage Foundation (GLRHF) was established in 2009 and has federal 501 ( c )3 status. A portion of the ticket price to the dinner is tax deductible. As a charitable organization, the mission of the GLRHF is to serve the broader community by preserving, maintaining, promoting and communicating the role of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in the sport of rodeo and the western lifestyle. This Mission is achieved through private donations, application for grants and hosting educational and cultural events. Funds raised will be used to support projects designed to document and preserve relevant historical events, rodeo training schools, scholarships, lectures, workshops and rodeos, with an emphasis on outreach to the younger, rural GLBTQ community.
More information on the Foundation and the dinner event is available at: www.glrhf.org. Individual, couple or group tickets may be purchased on the IGRA Convention Website at www.igra.com or by email.