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WATCH NOW: Thousands attend the 2022 Stanley Rodeo

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Thousands of Wisconsinites put a little yeehaw in their step at the 2022 Stanley Rodeo this weekend.

Events took place Friday, Saturday and Sunday including professional rodeo competitions, a parade, the queen’s coronation, a cowboy breakfast, tractor pulls, cowboy church, nightly bands and horse pulls.

“The horses and bulls are the coolest and I want to do that one day. I want to be a cowboy,” said 7-year-old Duke Davies.

His little sister, Darla, said she wants to be a rodeo princess and ride a horse every day.

“It’s so fun,” Darla Davies said. “The animals are so cute, except the big mean ones.”

The STPR, Inc. hosts the Stanley Rodeo each year over Father’s Day weekend. Duke and Darla were at the event with their grandpa and cousins celebrating all things country.

Saturday night’s professional rodeo competition at Chapman Park was standing room only. It included ranch bronco riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronco riding, down roping, barrel racing and bull riding.

The Stanley Rodeo was started in the Fall of 2003 as a collaboration between the Stanley FFA Alumni, Stanley Businessmen’s Association and the Stanley Chamber of Commerce to bring something big to the Stanley Community.

The STPR, Inc. worked with the PRCA and the PRCA’s sponsored Stock Contractor, Three Hills Rodeo Co., to bring the PRCA rodeo to this small town. Every year professional cowboys come from all across the nation to compete at the Stanley Rodeo so they can qualify to make it to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Kevin Hendrickson, treasurer of the Rodeo Committee said the organization became a registered 501©(3) this year, which means it is a registered non-profit and donors can write-off contributions to the organization when tax time comes around.

“One of the most exciting things here is the patriotism,” Hendrickson said. “The FFA does the enrolling of the American flag. We open up with prayer and give allegiance to this country and to everyone that serves our community.”

Hendrickson said the last seven years have been exceptionally successful. The events are fast-paced and a lot of fun and that’s why Hendrickson said he’s happy to keep doing this work.

“If you come and aren’t excited you must have missed something,” he said. “It’s just a ton of excitement in a short period of time.”

The Stanley Rodeo stands out through the way that STPR, Inc. has been able to give back to the Stanley community. The collaboration of the local non-profit volunteers is astounding, Hendrickson said.

A 50-50 raffle is something that is done at non-profit events. In a 50-50 fundraising raffle, the prize is 50% of the money taken in through raffle ticket sales. The other 50% is retained by the nonprofit organization or charity holding the raffle.

“The Legion and VFW are doing the 50-50 raffle together. They’ve done it for many years,” said one of the Grand Marshals of the Stanley Rodeo Parade, Marthamae Kottschade. “It brings in a lot of money for a good cause.”

With the proceeds of the raffle, Kottschade said the downtown Memorial Park can be renamed as the Hero’s Tribute Park which will not only honor military service members and veterans but law enforcement, fire, rescue and correctional officers.

In addition a portion of the proceeds go directly to the City of Stanley Parks and Recreation for park improvements.

“Our monies all go into our park system — Boyd and Stanley, where we have three parks. That’s huge. It unburdens the government and makes sure things like the walkways and tennis courts get attention.”

Hendrickson said he does this work because it was the way he was raised. Coming from a family of 12, he learned about taking responsibility and collaboration.

“I’ve been in Stanley my entire life. I was in sales for 30 years and I’ve been all over this country and other countries,” he said. “We in the Chippewa Valley have wonderful people here. For me this work is a way to give back.”

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