‘Cowboy Up’ is Saturday

Ron Burtz

 Cowboy hats, boots and Wrangler jeans will all be right in style this Saturday when the Custer YMCA Child Development Center holds its second annual fundraiser at the Custer Beacon. This year’s event has been titled Cowboy Up for Kids and features an entire afternoon and evening of activities for all ages which will culminate with a mechanical bull riding competition and live auction.
The activities will begin at noon with a Texas Holdem poker tournament that will run through 4 p.m.
Then, from 4-7 p.m. there will be open bull riding (at a lower setting) for kids 10 and up and adults. There will also be a carnival with five games such as a Nerf gun target shoot and plastic axe throwing for chances to enter a raffle for prizes.
Child Development Center director Erica Van Horn said besides the theme, some things have changed from last year’s inaugural Hawaiian Luau event. Instead of selling tables and a sit-down dinner, which takes up a lot of space, the organizers have decided to offer packages of tickets to businesses and groups. Packages are being offered at a price of $500 and include tickets and food for eight people plus 16 drink tickets. Van Horn said as of Friday morning 21 such packages had been sold, but more are available.
Individual tickets may be purchased at the door for a price of $50 each which includes food and two drink tickets. Instead of a full meal, heavy appetizers will be served between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Van Horn said 206 spots had been spoken for as of Friday and details are still being worked out as to the total they can accommodate.  
“I don’t think we realized how many people we were going to get,” she said. “It’s a great problem.”
With their package, groups will get to select one member to participate in the bull riding competition later in the evening and, just like at a real rodeo, beginning at 7 p.m. there will be a Calcutta to auction off the 10-12 expected riders.
Then at about 7:30 the bull riding will begin alternating with live auctions while riders are being switched out. Van Horn said there has been an effort to support local businesses this year and auction items will include packages of adventures such as balloon and helicopter rides.
A silent auction will also take place from 4 to 7.
Organizers are urging attendees to cowboy up in terms of their dress as well. A photo booth will be set up and Ann Morrow of Green Owl Media will be on hand to take pictures.
Once again this year, child care will be provided at the YMCA with fun activities for the kids. Van Horn said 48 kids participated last year and 30 are signed up so far this year.
“What a great community we have,” said Van Horn regarding the response to the event. “People have been so willing to support this and businesses have been very generous with donations.”


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