Rodeo to benefit S. Routt schools

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Although many people raise money by selling candy bars and raffle tickets or conducting car washes, the Friends of Soroco Parent Teacher Organization are hosting a rodeo to raise funds for the South Routt School District.

The 12th annual South Routt PTO Ranch Rodeo is at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Shiner Ranch south of Toponas. All proceeds will benefit the schools of South Routt.

Wendy Palyo helped plan the rodeo and is a PTO board member.

"It's pretty much the same rodeo every year, but it's a lot of fun," she said.

Palyo said the event is being held at the Shiner Ranch because use of the arena was donated to the rodeo. To get to Shiner Ranch, take Colorado Highway 131 to mile marker 22, and make a right onto Routt County Road 1. The ranch is about 5 miles down the road.

This year's rodeo will feature four team events, including cow-sorting, in which teams pick a number and have to sort the corresponding cow from the herd; cow-branding, in which teams brand a cow with paint; cow-roping, in which teams have to rope a cow; and cow-trailing, in which teams have to rope a cow and put it in a trailer.

All the events are timed, and teams will be competing for prizes.

Palyo said she expects between 12 and 20 teams from across Routt County to participate in this year's rodeo. A few hundred people likely will attend the event.

"We haven't actually taken any money from anyone, but we think there will be a good turnout," Palyo said.

The rodeo will feature teams composed of local ranchers and cowboys.

The rodeo also will feature several events for children that will take place between scheduled rodeo events and during lunch.

Children will be able to participate in boot races, stick-horse races and a cowboy luge, in which horses pull children seated in sleds.

Palyo said many people have made donations to the event, including team and children's prizes, food and items for a silent auction.

The Soroco PTO has raised money for the school district for 12 years, and Palyo said this easily is the group's biggest annual fund-raiser.

"I think it's really unique, and it says a lot about our community," she said.

All of the funds raised from the rodeo, food concessions and the silent auction will go directly to requests teachers and administrators make for their classrooms and schools. Palyo said the PTO hopes to raise about $5,000 through the rodeo. In the past, funds from the event have been used to buy microscopes and athletic equipment.

Palyo said anyone can register for the event, and all participants have to do is bring "your horse, your rope and yourself."

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