Truckee Rodeo looking for help in bucking economy |

Truckee Rodeo looking for help in bucking economy

Sun File PhotoAn image from the 2009 Rodeo in Truckee.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Businesses, individuals, nonprofits or events and#8212; everybody is having a tough time in the current economy, and that includes the Truckee Rodeo.

Truckee Championship Pro Rodeo Organizers Don and Anita Jesser are trying to raise funds to keep the annual event afloat, but say they will be here and hosting this yearand#8217;s 37th annual rodeo July 23-25. But whether the event returns in 2011 is not certain.

and#8220;Last year we were in the hole quite a bit,and#8221; Don Jesser said. and#8220;Weand#8217;re trying to get things back on track; pulling things together as a community-minded event. We rely on community supportand#8221;

The event takes about $50,000 to put on, Don said, and as of this week, theyand#8217;re about $20,000 short and#8212; meaning the remainder is coming out of their pockets.

and#8220;Without … sponsorship, this yearand#8217;s rodeo could be the end of an era,and#8221; the Jessers wrote in an e-mail. and#8220;If every resident of Truckee would donate $5 to the effort it would be more than enough to keep rodeo alive.and#8221;

Even the $10 for spectators to attend the rodeo, with enough in attendance, would help, said Don, who acknowledged itand#8217;s hard for businesses to come up with sponsorship money and#8212; $400 for a Banner Sponsor, for example and#8212; in this economy.

Stefanie Olivieri, long-time local and owner of Cabonaand#8217;s downtown, said the rodeo is an important community event, but as a business owner she can see how it would be hard to raise funds.

and#8220;This is one of our classic events both locals and visitors look forward to,and#8221; Olivieri said. and#8220;It would be an unfortunate loss, but itand#8217;s very hard from the standpoint of a business to be able to step up as sponsors until things turn around.and#8221;

Don said the rodeo has a long-standing history in the rodeo circuit, starting as a Coors Shootout Rodeo decades ago.

and#8220;The Truckee Rodeo is very near and dear to the hearts of many cowboys,and#8221; Don said. and#8220;And when it comes to aesthetic value, what could be more beautiful for a place to hold a rodeo than the mountains in Truckee?and#8221;

This yearand#8217;s event starts with a kids day and sponsor appreciation on Friday, then the full rodeo Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

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