2011 PRCA Awards Banquet: Barnes family celebrates an emotional night | TSLN.com
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2011 PRCA Awards Banquet: Barnes family celebrates an emotional night

On a night that seemed to celebrate those who left the rodeo world this year almost as much as those who highlighted it, it was fitting that the 2011 PRCA Awards Banquet held Nov. 30, 2011 at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas concluded by honoring the recently departed matriarch of one of rodeo’s most enduring families.

The Contract Personnel Lifetime Achievement Award, new to the program this year, was awarded posthumously to Donita Barnes as a record crowd rose to honor the Barnes family, who came up as a group to accept the prize on her behalf.

John Barnes, Donita’s son, said her most enduring quality was her positive outlook and how that influenced everyone around her.



“Bareback riders and bronc riders, when they’d enter our rodeos and pay their fees, she would talk positive to them and build them up; that’s who my mother was,” John Barnes said. “She passed away on the 18th of August, and we had a rodeo that weekend. We went to that rodeo that weekend – because she told us to – and there wasn’t a contestant that weekend with a dry eye.

Donita Barnes wasn’t the only recently deceased member of the rodeo family to be paid tribute on the evening. Dress Act of the Year John Payne expressed his respect for trick roper Vince Bruce, and three-award-winner Keith Isley (Coors Man in the Can, Clown of the Year and Comedy Act of the Year) announced he would donate his Comedy Act-winning check to the family of pick-up man Sonny Hansen.


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