BLACKFOOT — Plan to kick up your heels during a Saturday night Cowboy Ball on Feb. 8 at the Blackfoot Elks Club.
Rodeo is an expensive sport and the Cowboy Ball was started about 10 years ago by Laurie Stone and Jason Clements, who were looking for a way for the kids to show appreciation to the club’s sponsors.
The event has evolved over the years to raise money for athletes who qualify for state and national high school rodeo finals.
About 50 kids belong to the club that includes competitors from BHS and from high schools that don’t have rodeo clubs in Shelley, Firth, Snake River, Pingree and Fort Hall, said Toria Madsen, one of the organizers of Blackfoot. Belonging to an affiliated rodeo club is required to compete.
“These student athletes have to juggle their time between school, jobs, other sports and their rodeo responsibilities. They’re a very unique caliber of kids,” Madsen said.
Along with a dinner and auction featuring donated or handmade items from the athletes, the event will have a DJ, dancing and a night of high stakes bingo with prizes donated by businesses.
Some of the top prizes include two lift tickets to the Sun Valley Ski Resort, a night’s stay for two at the Wort Hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and two passes to the Elk Refuge, two lift tickets to Grand Targhee Ski Resort, or dinner for two at the Teton House in Menan, along with numerous packages for tickets to movies, museums, Lava Hot Springs, bowling alleys and area restaurants, Madsen said.
“This year, we’re planning a family fun night with a Valentines’ Day theme. We’ll have a dinner for the sponsors, a live auction and bingo with great prizes, some items made by the rodeo kids themselves, like horseshoe art, leather work and tack,” Madsen said.
The evening shines a light on family with a Valentine’s Day theme, and rodeo competitors will be on hand to work the event.
“Our goal is to have the kids meet the sponsors, and thank them for their support, and give everyone an opportunity to get to know each other,” Madsen said.
The event begins at 5 p.m., at the Elks Club in Blackfoot, 123 North Ash St. Tickets are $5 per person or $20 for a family. The auction and bingo will follow the dinner.
“The club is beyond grateful to all the generous sponsors who support the great sport of rodeo and the Blackfoot rodeo club,” Madsen said. “We want to say thank you in advance to all who give to this spectacular event and to all the great kids working their hardest to make it happen.”