Military Family Support joins Hamel Rodeo sponsors

When fans are enjoying competition at the Hamel Rodeo, they are supporting organizations in the area. The newest group volunteering at the rodeo and receiving rodeo funds is the Military Family Support Ministry at the Lord of Life Church in Maple Grove. (Photo by Bob Hosker)

by Ruth Nicolaus

Contributing Writer

Rodeo to return July 6 to 9

The “bucks” at the Hamel Rodeo in Corcoran are more than just the horses and bulls in the arena.

They’re the dollars that are raised by the rodeo and given back in dozens of ways, through the five charities that the Hamel Rodeo supports.

This year, the Lord of Life Military Family Support Ministry in Maple Grove has been added as a beneficiary of the rodeo. That makes five groups that split the proceeds after the rodeo’s bills are paid: the Military Family Support, Hamel Volunteer Fire Department, the John Pohlker American Legion Post, the Heinzen-Ditter VFW and the Hamel Lions Club. Since the rodeo began in 1981, over $1.8 million has been given back to the community through these organizations.

The Hamel Rodeo soon will return to Corcoran Lions Park, with performances on July 6, 7, 8 and 9. Lions Park is located south of County Road 10 and west of County Road 101.

MILITARY FAMILY SUPPORT

The Military Family Support Ministry does a variety of things to support veterans, said Paul Brunelle, a volunteer with the ministry. They provide scholarships to active duty military and veterans’ families, as well as donate to various veteran organizations. They send cookie packages and household items to deployed troops and host an annual veterans’ dinner for over 100 veterans in early November.

“Basically, we try to support active military, veterans and their families,” Brunelle said. “That’s our mission.”

All of the money they raise from rodeo proceeds goes to active duty military, veterans and their families. “One hundred percent goes right back to them, through various methods,” Brunelle said. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful ministry we’re involved in.”

The rodeo money doesn’t come without a bit of commitment. All five groups are asked to provide volunteer labor for the many tasks related to putting on a rodeo. For the Military Family Support Ministry and partnering ministry, 2B REAL Men at Lord of Life Church, their job is ticket sales. They have between 150 and 200 volunteers to sell and take tickets at each of the rodeo’s five performances.

Their duties also include setting up and tearing down at Corcoran Lions Park, where the rodeo is held. The 2B REAL Men uses their part of the proceeds for scholarships for retreats and to help those in the community who need assistance with yard work, cleaning gutters, painting, and home repairs.

This year’s Hamel Rodeo, held at Corcoran Lion’s Park, runs July 6-9. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. each day, with a Family Day matinee at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 8. The annual Hamel Rodeo Parade kicks off at 2 p.m. on July 9 in uptown Hamel. Tickets for rodeo performances start at $10 and are sale online at HamelRodeo.org, at the Farmers State Bank of Hamel, at Pleasant Hills Saddle Shops, and at the gate.

For information, visit the rodeo’s website or its Facebook page (search for Hamel Rodeo) or call 763-478-6611.