FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Paladino, Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo/Rodeo Austin
BIG DREAMS FOR THE 75THANNIVERSARY OF RODEO AUSTIN
Austin, Texas, March 11, 2012 – Rodeo Austin truly kicked off the 75thAnniversary in style during the Big Dreams Party Book Launch Reception and Miss Rodeo Austin Scholarship Contest held on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at the exquisite Driskill Hotel.
The first portion of this special anniversary event featured the launch of the organization’s 75thAnniversary bookRodeo Austin: Blue Ribbons, Buckin’ Broncs and Big Dreamsand featured a reception where guests received autographs from 29 of Rodeo Austin’s elite past presidents and the author Liz Carmack.
During the book launch, Rodeo Austin also held the first-ever Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, paying tribute to seven of the organization’s most beloved leaders. In order to receive this honor, a person must have demonstrated a long term committed dedication to the mission of the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo have significantly contributed to the promotion of the mission. These individuals are stand out leaders whose contributions are extraordinary. The inaugural class of esteemed individuals includes: Jimmy Callahan, 1983 President, was a critical player in the establishment of the Youth Fair in 1980 to include youth from urban backgrounds in competition which included projects like baking, sewing, planting, photography and even had a Special Ed division. Verlin Callahan, 1973 President, is best known for revamping the livestock show and his heavy participation in the Youth Auction since its start. Jay Evans, 1979 and 1985 President, has been an active member in the President’s Club, a buyers group for the youth auction that has raised over $650,000 since it began in 1980. Bill Knolle, 1984 President, established the Founders Club Membership program and recruited many members in the early 80s at significant investment levels. Mike Levi, 1990 President, was well respected by the Board and helped spread visionary goals. Ted Nagel, 1981 President, was an instrumental leader of endowment and fundraising programs throughout the 80s and 90s through Austin Tequila Society which is now the Austin Endowment Society. Lastly, the late Robert Sneed, 1980 President, helped start the scholarship program as we know it today in 1981 when nine students received $500 scholarships. Each gentleman was honored with a bronze sculpture designed in their image that will forever be placed in memorial at the Dr. Charles W. Graham Western Heritage Center.
Following the historic Hall of Fame Induction, the evening’s ceremonies turned into glitz and glamour as the Miss Rodeo Austin Style Show and Dinner commenced. The evening featured the first competition of the Miss Rodeo Austin Scholarship Contest. Eleven contestants walked the runway in their best Western wear and ended the evening with a non-judged runway show featuring fashion and jewelry from local designers ATX Mafia and Sookie Sookie. At the end of the night Miss Rodeo Austin 2011, Katie Crews, and Miss Rodeo Austin Princess 2011, Stephanie Revels, gave their touching farewell speeches and took their last fashion show walks as Rodeo Austin royalty.
Caption for attached image: Pictured above: Jimmy Callahan, Verlin Callahan, Jay Evans, Bill Knolle and Ted Nagel
The Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, contributes more than $1.9 million annually to the youth of Texas with the help of over 2,000 volunteers, donors and sponsors. Through its acclaimed Livestock Show, Fair, Rodeo and other fundraisers, the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo continues to work towards the advancement of its mission, Promoting Youth Education - Preserving Western Heritage. While delivering superior entertainment and boasting an economic impact that exceeds $68 million annually, the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo is an established community tradition founded in 1938. Staying true to the official sport of Texas, Austin is home to the world’s 5th largest indoor, regular season ProRodeo known as Rodeo Austin. For more information visitwww.RodeoAustin.com.