Vanessa Ternes: Miss Rodeo South Dakota April newsletter
Hello, I love my job as Miss Rodeo South Dakota! April was a great month, with some very fun events to share my love of rodeo. I started the month by joining a very generous organization, Chutes for Charity, founded by the families of the Black Hills Roundup Committee. Chutes for Charity is a philanthropic organization that began in 2010 raising by selling T-shirts. All the profits from these fundraisers go to families in need from the Belle Fourche, SD-area, or surrounding areas. At my Miss Rodeo South Dakota Coronation in January, Chutes for Charity made their first donation to a little girl battling a rare form of cancer. There wasn’t a dry eye in the building, as we stood and applauded the family receiving the donation.
Chutes for Charity are planning other fundraisers to further their ability to help families in the area. On May 6, the charity is hosting a fancy dinner and presenting another deserving family with money. Another event I am excited to announce, and spearhead planning for, is the Chutes for Charity Chili Cook-off, held in conjunction with the Country Colgate Showdown Finals in Belle Fourche, SD on July 3, at Herman Park. Please come support a very worthy cause, while celebrating our freedom and filling up on some tasty chili!
In June you will have the chance to experience the other half of the west – by what activity you may ask? The first ever all-cowgirl Showdeo will take place during Wild Bill Days in Deadwood and will feature riding, driving, workshops, a Cowgirls of the West style show, Horse Psychic by Tracy Sharpe of British Columbia, and a cowgirl saloon with music and dancing. To promote the event, I was asked to model for the event poster. The talented team of Sarah and Richard Carlson, Black Forest Studio, set up a mini-studio in my living room to photograph for the event. They produced a stellar advertisement, and I hope to work with them again in the future!
I’ve been to quite a few rodeos in my reign as Miss Rodeo South Dakota, and I’ve got to say that it’s hard to beat a Sutton Rodeo production. I was excited to represent at the SDSU Jackrabbit Stampede with the 2010 Stampede Queen, Courtney Peterson, and the Black Hills Stock Show Queen, Trisha Smeenk, by carrying flags, signing autographs and making new friends with the Jackrabbit Stampede queen contestants. There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get as you post the American flag around the arena as the lights go dim, a hush falls over the crowd, and a spotlight falls on Old Glory! Thank you to the Sutton Family and Tammy Rebelein for that exciting weekend.
The end of April was made memorable with the fantastic Spring Fling Fundraiser to benefit the Miss Rodeo South Dakota Pageant and the Black Hills Roundup Steer Roping. It was so much fun to dress the theme of vintage cowboys and cowgirls. I was joined by my friend Miss Rodeo America, McKenzie Haley, to model auction items, sign autographs, enjoy delicious food by Open Range Cowboy Cookin’, and show off our dance moves as we kicked up our festive cowgirl boots! Thank you to Ted and Kathy Thompson, they made the event such a brilliant one.
Congratulations to the Deadwood Days of ’76 Rodeo for their induction to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame for the PRCA! You have kept the American dream alive through our western heritage and an amazing rodeo!
Take care and God bless,
Vanessa J. Ternes
Miss Rodeo South Dakota
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A pasture or lot with plenty of grass or bedding and windbreak is important when calving in the cold.