JH Shrine Club replaces cutter races with rodeo

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — Two years ago, the Shrine Club was in desperate need of a new fundraising idea. The popular cutter races had finally reached an end after numerous cancellations due to weather and track conditions, and a lack of participants eventually took their toll.

It was then that the Wilson family, who produce the local rodeo, approached the Shriners and offered the idea of a two-night rodeo with the proceeds going to the Shrine Hospital in Salt Lake City as the cutter race events had always done.

“We met and agreed to give it a try,” said Tom Needham, president of the JH Shrine Club.

That was 2018, and the Jackson Hole Rodeo put on the two nights of rodeo, donating $15,000 from their proceeds. The two nights allowed the club to raise approximately $18,000 in sponsorship money from the rodeo as well, which was given to the Shrine Hospital in Salt Lake.

Jackson Hole Rodeo again this year put on two nights of rodeo for the Jackson Hole Shrine Club. The Shrine Club announced the proceeds from this year’s rodeo was $34,000 (plus an additional $24,00 from sponsorships), representing a 127% increase in money from the first year.

“This is in no small part due to community participation in attendance,” Needham said. It would not have happened without the generosity of the Wilson family who own and operate Jackson Hole Rodeo. Nor would it happen without the support of the community who have helped to sponsor the event and have attended the rodeo. As more people become aware of the event and turn out to support it, the benefit to Shrine Hospital for Children is expected to be even greater.”

The proceeds from four nights of rodeo put on by Jackson Hole Rodeo over the last two years has directly gifted $49,000 to the Shriners Hospital for Children. The rodeo event has also allowed the club to raise $42,000 in donated sponsorship to give to the Shriners Hospital for Children for a total $91,000.

“On behalf of the Jackson Hole Shrine Club, we thank you!” Needham said.

Jackson Hole Shrine Club members are presented with a check at the close of two nights of rodeo dedicated to the club and its fundraising efforts for the Shrine Hospital in SLC. Photo: Pam Scarlett

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