Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ride Proud

If we live our lives giving to others, doing our jobs to the utmost, doing good deeds and always offering kind words, sometimes we will have the opportunity to touch another person in a very profound way.

Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2010, Michelle Boeshart was officially crowned on January 8th in a coronation ceremony at the Quality Inn and Suites in North Platte. This extraordinary young woman has embarked on the journey of a lifetime, her first duty being to join other state queens at the Denver National Stock Show Rodeo in just a few days.
Michelle is a Nebraska ranch cowgirl – the kind that can ride anything with hair. According to outgoing queen Amy Amack, this trait will come in handy, as she will be offered hard-mouthed and hard-sided horses at some of the rodeos at which she will make appearances (The queens no longer trailer their own horses to and from the various rodeos they attend – they are provided horses at the event.). She is also the kind of girl whose mother insists she ride with her cell phone tucked inside her boot, as her fearlessness can sometimes get her into trouble.
The coronation celebration was also an opportunity to raise the funds Michelle will need to travel 60,000 miles in 2010, representing the sport of rodeo and the state of Nebraska on her way to the Miss Rodeo America competition in Las Vegas in December. Many well-wishers donated items to the silent auction, live auction, door prizes and raffle. Many more competed in the bidding to win the items. I saw more than one successful bidder hand the item they had just won Michelle as their gift to her.
The Mister even made sure that Nebraska Outback wouldn't go home empty handed. We won a beautiful hand-made coral necklace and earring set, and donated $100 to the cause.
Miss Rodeo Nebraska is crowned each year in June at the PRCA Buffalo Bill Rodeo during NEBRASKAland DAYS. Members of the NLD Board of Directors served as emcees and assisted in the heated live auction. Auctioneering is a Nebraska tradition, and there were at least three professional auctioneers in attendance Friday, with Kyle Schow doing the honor of calling the auction.
Here fellow auctioneer and member of NEBRASKAland DAYS board Duane McClain makes sure that no one's bid gets missed.
Members of the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association assisted Michelle, her mother and other family members to organize the celebration.
MRNA members Peggy Moorehead and Mardee Swanson "volunteered" to clerk the auction, and did it with grace and style.
The visiting queens from around the state assisted in selling raffle tickets, showcasing auction items, and generally adding an air of excitement to the festivities with their beautiful and colorful outfits.
This whimsical little horse bicycle brought a lot of happiness to a promising little cowgirl at a cost of about $300.00.
The centerpiece of the live auction, an autographed, authenticated Louisville Slugger bat signed by legend Ted Williams brought $2,750.00.
Calving season is coming up, and two potential bidders examine the merits of a remote-controlled spotlight for those midnight heifer checks.
As Michelle heads off on her grand adventure, it is clear that there is an army of supporters standing behind her. Her family, of course, but also her companions from school and 4-H, friends and parents of friends, the NEBRASKAland DAYS organization, the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association, sponsors, former queens, fans of the sport of rodeo, and people who don’t even know her, who appreciate the spirit of rural America that she embodies. She is a very accomplished public speaker, and eloquently showed her appreciation to everyone.
Part of that army of supporters, former Miss Rodeo Nebraska's mother and daughter Lolly Klug (1957) and Johna Klug Niedfelt present Michelle with her spurs.
No rodeo queen's outfit is complete without the chaps she will wear during her arena duties. Mill Iron S sponsored Michelle's chaps, festooned with the brands of area ranches.
Here you can see the detail of the chaps that are obscured in the above picture.
Local country musician Josh Cox provided excellent entertainment for the coronation.
Do you have any doubt that this girl is ready for anything?
And finally, Michelle receives her crown from Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2009, Amy Amack. Michelle’s theme for her reign is “Ride Proud”, and there is quite a story behind that. Each year during the competition for the title of Miss Rodeo Nebraska, North Platte’s La Quinta Inn and Suites hosts the contestants. The staff at this hotel is proud of the honor to host these wonderful young women, and works hard to make their stay memorable. One staff person in particular stood out during the 2009 competition. This woman did everything she could to offer encouragement, support, and to help in any way possible. As Michelle was leaving the hotel for the last time after winning the title, this great lady told her by way of congratulations “ride proud.” That resonated with Michelle, and she adopted it as her theme. There is no doubt in my mind that Michelle will ride proud.

Just as this woman touched Michelles' and the other contestants’ lives, and as Michelle will touch countless peoples’ lives during her reign, you and I have the opportunity to touch someone’s life each and every day. Do it now.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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