Elizabeth Stampede has a long history of rodeo in Elbert County. This year, the Stampede celebrates its 50th rodeo and 27th year as a PRCA rodeo. The Stampede is an all-volunteer production, so these milestones could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of its many volunteers. Each year the rodeo honors two volunteers, usually a couple, with the Pioneers Award. This year¹s recipients are Bill Snead and Linda Mai-Snead.
Bill and Linda each have twenty-five years of service with the rodeo, which currently makes them the longest continuous Elizabeth Stampede volunteers. They have put in hundreds of hours of volunteer time in nearly all of the positions volunteers can fulfill. Bill has served on the Board of Directors for 18 years and Linda has served 5 years. Both also serve on the board of the Elizabeth Stampede Foundation the rodeo¹s charitable organization. Both hold PRCA Gold Cards. In 1995, for her contributions, Linda was honored with the Justin Standard of the West Award, the rodeo’s outstanding volunteer. Bill served 12 years on the Mountain States Circuit Board and maintains active membership in the PRCA.
In 1989 when the couple first volunteered, things were much different. Bill says, “There were about 32 volunteers and everybody did everything that needed to be done.” Linda adds, “We didn’t have the 16 committees we have today; you simply did whatever needed to be done to ensure the rodeo was a success.” The work and dedication of volunteers in the early years was extreme. “Back then,” Bill relates, “you didn’t leave the rodeo grounds between performances. Instead, we would take one quick break for a meal under the pine trees. Many of us were so tired from three days of non-stop action that we would try to sneak in a nap in our trucks.”
Bill recalls the weather over the years: “One year it rained so much a bull rope with its bell floated past me in the arena and out the gate.” Linda continues, “Our daughter Heather and I sold tickets from an aluminium horse trailer during a lightening storm. Maybe that wasn’t the best decision, but we did whatever was necessary to keep the rodeo going!”
Bill and Linda’s desire to continue volunteering with the rodeo is fueled by the great friends they have made. The Elizabeth Stampede and all the volunteers would like to give a big thank you to Bill and Linda, and congratulate them for being the 2014 Elizabeth Stampede Pioneers! The rodeo looks forward to many more years of volunteer service!
Bill nods in concurrence when Linda says, We are honored and delighted to be selected as this year¹s Stampede Pioneers, and we want to acknowledge the importance of all the volunteers, of every minute and every hour they have put in shoulder-to-shoulder with us. Elizabeth Stampede and all of its volunteers would like to give a big thank you to Bill and Linda.