Family Fair Committee
Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." After committing over $186 million since inception and $11.5 million in 2017 toward educating the youth of Texas, we can proudly say that the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is a success. Success is defined in many ways. According to writer Joshua Becker, a few ways to measure success are faithfulness in commitment, graciousness towards others, humility in accomplishment and integrity in the details. These measures are found in every one of the 46 committees of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, from first year volunteer to Directors, Life Members and the Executive Committee. This is also evident in the leadership and members of the Family Fair Committee.
The Family Fair Committee task list grows yearly. They are one of the behind-the-scenes crews that gets the fairgrounds setup pre-show, ensures everything on grounds run smoothly during the show and assists with cleanup – always attempting to return the grounds in better condition than pre-show. You name it, they fix it, place it, or take it where it needs to go. From plants and tables to assisting with bands and sponsors, they always find a way to make it happen. They are also always willing to lend a helping hand and they were willing to answer a few questions so we could get to know them a little more.
What brought you to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo?
Mike O., committee chairman, was interested in volunteering because he “showed through FFA in school and was kind of into the rodeo thing.” He and his friends were always around Ag and once he got older he “was drawn back to it.”
Jeannine B. “was looking for a place to volunteer and decided the rodeo was a perfect fit.” She says it felt right after always “coming to the grounds and walking around looking at all the different sights and eating the yummy food.”
Roland P. originally joined the rodeo family so he could “help the youth.” Roland and the committee enjoy “helping everybody as much as we can.” He feels “it just gets better when you get to know everyone else from the other committees and everyone is willing to help each other out.”
Genny K. got started thanks to her father. “I was little and I would go to the rodeo grounds with my dad because he would setup displays for Kelly Air Force Base. After looking around and seeing what the rodeo was all about, it was an easy decision when someone asked me to join, I filled out the application and thanks to Steve Bridges I became part of the Family Fair Committee.”
Why did you join the Family Fair Committee?
Mike calls it fate. “After following Steve Bridges, a great leader to Family Fair, it felt like home,” he said. Mike also mentioned that “Assistant Vice President Allen Cole is a big reason the Family Fair Committee continues to succeed … [he] built on the foundation created by Steve. He was and still is a strong and influential leader, always willing to help anyway he can.”
Jeanine was encouraged to join by a friend. She said, “After my first year volunteering I wanted to stay because during rodeo season our committee members become a family and all work together to ensure a perfect experience for the visitors.”
What is your favorite rodeo memory?
Mike has a few favorite memories, but the most recent is the Landscape Challenge Award Ceremony. “Being able to see the kids receive their scholarships was energizing. I was able to see firsthand why we do this.”
Roland enjoys it all but was hooked after his first year when he “helped a disabled woman looking for assistance at the Family Fair Office … and escorted the woman to where she needed to go.” Since then, he is always ready and willing to do whatever needs to be done.
Genny has a couple of favorites, but the best yet is “being able to walk around with my grandchildren and getting to watch their faces light up when they are near the animals and learning at the different exhibits in Family Fair.”
What’s your favorite part of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo?
Mike enjoys everything his team does around the grounds, but his favorite part of the rodeo is “the Grand Entry, the National Anthem and the prayer.” When he gets a chance to see it, “it makes me appreciate what I have, reminds me to give thanks, and it makes me want to do more.”
Jeannine says her favorite aspect of the show are the youth contests. She enjoys “seeing all the photography and art competitors, youth baking contest and of course the beautiful animals the kids have raised.”
Genny likes “getting a chance to work at the chuck wagons.” She enjoys “being a part of an organization that can share history and show what it was like on the old frontier. We get to continue that tradition and share the culture.” Genny appreciates being on grounds because we “bring out the wonderful things that are going on with children and the different things they can do and accomplish. The art, the animals, it’s all amazing!”
A steel maker, property manager, San Antonio Housing Authority employee and former caterer are just four of the individuals that help make our volunteer force and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo what it is today. Thank you to the members of the Family Fair Committee who took time to answer these questions and to the entire committee for always aiming “to make the best better” and “living to serve.”