Rodeo ropes money for causes
In Baker County, the Fourth of July means that it’s time for the Haines Stampede and all the trimmings.
With the pancake breakfast, the parade, the rodeo and the fireworks, there’s enough to fill anyone’s plate.
Besides all the fun, friends, food and family, the festivities in Haines have important philanthropic elements.
And they, really, are all about the kids.
Through the north entrance at the Haines Stampede, a booth was selling water bottles and wristbands in support of the Bingham family.
The Bingham children have weathered unprecedented instances of cardiomyopathy.
Family friends Marji Lind and Chris Aldrich were in charge of the booth and were excited that they’d sold all the water bottles in no time at all.
“The response from people has really been great,” said Lind, who has three children close in age to the Bingham children.
Lind mentioned how auctioneer Wayne Overton had volunteered his time to auction off a steer at the rodeo.
The steer was donated and its proceeds will support the Binghams’ medical expenses.
By all accounts, it was a great day for rodeo and for good causes.
The steer auction garnered an impressive $79,500.
Combined with the water bottles and bracelets, the day’s fundraising total came to $82,987, Lind said.
To learn more about the Binghams or make a donation, visit www.heartsforbinghams.org.
Wednesday’s Baker City Herald mentioned the team roping competition fundraiser.
The proceeds will benefit Portland’s Shriners Hospital for Children.
“We had 98 roper teams and are looking at around $3,000,” said Colleen Taylor, Haines Stampede Rodeo Association spokeswoman.
Only in its second year, the fundraiser has already seen a significant improvement.
Last year the event raised $2,200 — so this year was more than a 25 percent increase.
“About three years ago we decided the Haines Stampede could raise some money,” Taylor said.
She especially credited Haines Stampede members Martin Arritola and Howdy McGinn.
“We’d never done a benefit before. They took it and ran with it.”
On hand at Wednesday’s rodeo was also Shrine Club member Myron Miles, a man born and raised in Baker County.
He was called upon to raise the American flag after the national anthem.
Miles, 71, is Steer Chairman for the Shriners East- West All-Star Football Game.
“Shriners Hospitals give free coverage for children 18 years or younger,” Miles said.
“For example, a local girl blew out her knee at basketball practice and the family couldn’t afford surgery so we covered it.”
The Shriners also cover transportation to and from the hospital in Portland.
Philanthropy was in the air in Haines as the rodeo took place, as armed forces service members were honored and local organizations recognized for sponsorships and donations, as the sun shone and snow from the Elkhorns glinted down onto a dusty ring packed with fans.