August Rodeo Will Have New People At The Helm

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For the first time in many years, the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee will not run the August Doin’s Rodeo due to conflicts over compensation.

The Payson Rodeo Preservation Alliance (PRPA) offered the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee $5,000 to provide security and run the arena at the 125th annual rodeo in August. They also offered the committee 30 percent of parking revenue and 25 percent of the proceeds from the 50/50 raffle, said rodeo committee secretary Ruth Klaver.

In the past, the committee received $7,000 to run the arena and provide security and received 100 percent of proceeds from parking and the raffle, Klaver said.

After the rodeo committee received the new offer, they decided it would be economical to only run the arena and security and not help with parking, the raffle or a vendor booth, Klaver said.

Although the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce owns the rodeo name, this year, the operation of the event was leased to the preservation alliance. The PRPA was formed to run the event and contract out stock handlers, concessionaires, publicity and other functions to put on the event. The pro rodeo group used to handle all of the hands-on work at the event, including getting stock in and out of events, opening chutes and countless other tasks. It took 20 people to run the arena and 32 people to provide security, Klaver said.

Last year, when the rodeo committee took care of the parking, they made $3,000 over the week’s worth of events, $1,500 of which was given to Future Farmers of America students for helping. The rest of the money was put toward scholarships.

“Any money we make goes back into the community,” Klaver said.

Payson Pro Rodeo Committee President Bill Armstrong also said the money was put toward the community.

“All of our money goes back to the kids and seniors,” he said.

Because the committee was only willingly to provide some of the services it usually performed, the PRPA decided not to use the committee in any way.

“After telling us that we could do the arena and security, they informed us that they are going to use somebody else,” Klaver said. “They wanted us to come down from $5,000 after they already told us we had it.”

A letter sent to the rodeo committee from the PRPA board of directors said, due to the current economic conditions, the board is faced with difficult financial decisions. As a result, “we received quotes from other organizations to handle the duties outlined in our correspondence, which are lower than those proposed to the rodeo committee.”

“This is a difficult decision for our board to make because of the many years of valued service the committee has provided to the August Rodeo,” the letter states. “Unfortunately, because you cannot perform the full duties we require, we have to look elsewhere.”

PRPA Chairman Chuck Jackman said various volunteer groups, including the Boy Scouts and the Payson Fire Department would run the event, but had no comment about the committee.

“I really have no comment,” Jackman said. “I am not in the rodeo for politics, I am in it for the heritage of Payson.”

Jackman said he would wait until all of the wrong information was put out before commenting. Armstrong also said he had no comment about the contract, but hopes everything works out for the rodeo.

Last year, the rodeo committee gave away $15,000 in scholarships locally and $5,000 to the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign. Much of the money was raised from the August Rodeo, various fund-raisers and the committee’s own rodeo in May.

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