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Snake River Stampede leans on volunteer efforts

Snake River Stampede
Posted at 3:21 PM, Jul 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-23 17:21:56-04

NAMPA, Idaho — The 107th Snake River Stampede is wrapping up with its finale Saturday night. Since Tuesday, the rodeo has hosted events at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, with the primary goal of showing off rodeo talent.

The rodeo brings in tens of thousands of people over the week to enjoy the show, but that wouldn't be possible without the number of volunteer hours that are put into the rodeo.

Snake River Stampede only has one full-time employee, the event relies on roughly 40,000 hours of volunteer work to help make the event. Groups like 4-H and Lions clubs come to donate time and fund-raise.

"They love it," Danece Whitley, a 4-H leader, said. "It gives them pride and it lets them show off what they’re doing. They get to talk about their projects when they interact with other people and it just really makes them feel good that they’re contributing and giving back."

4-H sends hundreds of people throughout the week. Their job is to sell concessions and souvenirs to people at the rodeo.

The money that the club helps to raise circles back to the club, and helps them provide different scholarships and funds for the kids in the club.

The volunteer work ranges from kids to adults. Sharon Slater, who is volunteering for her fifth rodeo, is a favorite among volunteer staff. Slater passes out rodeo programs at door four, a door that everyone knows is hers.

"I like my door four," Slater said. "It’s an easier door than door one and three. So it’s less people but a lot more fun."

The rodeo brings economic opportunity and philanthropy to the Treasure Valley. By the end of the week, the Stampede says they push a lot of funds back into the community.

"Things people buy when they’re here," said Clint Child, Stampede Board Vice President. "They stay in hotels going to restaurants all those things but the financial community benefit is about $10 million dollars per year."

The rodeo also hosts multiple events like "Stampede for the Cure" and "Pink on the Dirt" which raises money for St. Luke's and St. Alphonsus to help cover the costs of mammograms for uninsured and under-insured patients.

"We have a separate board that works with (Stampede for the Cure) and the sole function of that is really to help the community and put money back in the community to help Idaho not be last in breast cancer screening," Child said. "This past year, all the efforts that our Stampede for the Cure committee did, all-volunteer, was phenomenal."