Firefighters exploring taking over PV Rodeo
The Penn Valley Rodeo hasn’t been hog-tied just yet.
The rodeo was dropped by its sponsor for financial reasons, but the Penn Valley Firefighters Association wants to take it over in time to hold what would be the 46th annual event in June.
Association members make their pitch Monday to the Penn Valley Fire Protection District, which owns the acreage where the rodeo is held.
“We hate to see it go bye-bye, you might say,” firefighters association President Don Raymond said Wednesday.
If approved, it would mark a return to firefighters’ control of Penn Valley’s largest annual event. They had run the event from the 1950s – when the group was called the Penn Valley Fireman’s Association – until 1995, Raymond said.
Then, until last year, the Penn Valley Hi-Graders Lions Club was the organizer. But in November, the group announced it was dropping the event because the last rodeo yielded roughly $2,000, which was donated to Ready Springs and Pleasant Valley district schools.
More than $19,000 was raised for the districts in 1998.
The Lions also complained that the fire district bumped rent from $750 in 1998 to $4,500 last year. Increased costs for food, security and other services also reduced profits, they said.
Last year’s rodeo drew about 800 people, down from 2,000 the year before, said Lions member Frank Spenger, last year’s rodeo chairman. He attributed the drop to high school graduations being held the same weekend.
He sounded relieved that the rodeo might resume.
“Maybe (the firefighters) don’t care if they don’t make any money,” Spenger said. “They did it for years, but I don’t know if they made money or if they cared. All I know is, we were trying to make money for the schools.”
If the firefighters get the event, Raymond said, profits would benefit a firefighting scholarship fund and help build a $46,000 training building near station 43 on Spenceville Road.
“This is my personal feeling – that the school gets enough money,” Raymond said.
At recent rodeos, he claimed, firefighters weren’t allowed to sell food because they insisted on keeping their profits for firefighting programs.
WHAT: Penn Valley Fire Protection District board meeting
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Monday
WHERE: Station 43, 10513 Spenceville Road
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