The Payson Pro Rodeo Committee runs the Gary Hardt Memorial Spring PRCA Rodeo each May.
Originally this was the "Old Timer's Rodeo" and started in 1987 -- making this the 20th anniversary celebration of the event.
The Payson Pro Rodeo Committee is a nonprofit organization that supports different groups in the Payson area with the income it receives from the rodeo's corporate sponsors and proceeds.
The committee's main purpose is building a continuing scholarship fund for seniors graduating from the Payson School District.
The committee has more than 85 members currently and quite a few of them will be working the rodeo -- just look for the official logos on their shirts.
Major sponsors like Wrangler, Dodge, Justin Boots, Corral West Ranchwear, The Tonto Apache Tribe and Mazatzal Casino, Chaparral Pines and The Rim Club, Payson Concrete, Gila Ready Mix, Roy Haught Excavating and Budweiser, along with many other Payson area businesses support the rodeo and the committee's efforts each year.
Tough Enough to Wear Pink
In 2006, the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee started a campaign to support breast cancer awareness.
A portion of the cancer support donations was raised from the unique "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" campaign. It will once again be a special feature; though it is the first time it has been part of the spring rodeo.
In addition to providing great entertainment and fighting for a title, cowboys will also join the fight against breast cancer at the Friday, May 18 "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" performance.
The Payson Pro Rodeo Committee will donate $3 for each contestant who wears pink, and a dollar for each patron wearing pink. So, come out and help in the fight against breast cancer. "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" campaign's major sponsors are: Chaparral Pines and Bison Homes; also sponsoring the event are Bashas', PRMC Healthy Woman Program, Compass Bank, Payson Jewelers, Windermere Real Estate, El Rancho Restaurant.