O.C.Y.R.A.: Rib Eyes and Rodeos
What would you pay for a steak dinner for two? In Orangefield Saturday night, they were going for $100. One hundred and seventy-four people took the Orange County Youth Rodeo Association up on their offer of a rib eye steak dinner with all the trimmings for themselves and a companion in the 2nd annual OCYRA Draw Down held at the Orangefield Jr. High School.
“Danny Brack from K-Dan’s did the cooking,” said Carol Winfree. “He did it last year and he enjoyed it so much, he wanted to do it again this year.”
“It’s our one fundraiser we hold a year,” said Chad Jenkins, president of O.C.Y.R.A. “We feed everyone a rib eye steak, potatoes and all the trimmings and all the proceeds go directly right back to the children. Every dime we raise goes right back to support those young people that were standing right here in front just a second ago.” Jenkins was referring to the 16 teens from Orange County that participates in events with the Texas High School Rodeo Association and the Jr. High division. “We help the kids go to the state finals in Abilene. It helps support and pays for entry fees and costs of that nature.”
The ticket included a chance to win a prize valued up to the $2,500 grand prize won by the last number drawn.
In this drawing, you wanted your number to stay in the hopper until the very end, there by the name of the event; they were “drawing down” to the last number. A silent and live auction was also held that evening. The last item auctioned off was the 175th event ticket.
The winner of the last ticket not only had another chance at a prize, but they were guaranteed a money prize of either the $2,500, $1,500 or $500 because the number wasn’t placed in the hopper until there were only two numbers left. Danny Brack claimed the last ticket winning it with a bid for $1,400. His was also the last number drawn, winning him the $2,500. This strategy has served him well as he was the winner of the last ticket in the inaugural event and it was the last number drawn then also.
A prize was awarded and a team member recognized after each 10th number drawn.
Many local businesses and individuals were generous supplying a variety of gifts for the drawing including a picnic table from the Montagne family, a fire pit created by the Orangefield FFA, barbecues, tools, a rifle and hunting gear, gift cards and pampering.
Some of the businesses and individuals contributing were Farmers Mercantile, Big Daddy’s Crawfish, Orange County Building Materials, Fabricating Solutions, Sutherlands, GulfCo Industrial, Tisha Bachelor, Floyds Seafood, Patti Wall, Dr. Howard Williams, Sutherlands, Christine Durkin, Cormier Well Service, Tonia Gann, Superior Tire, Mauriceville Tire & Lube, Dr. Joel Smith, Woodridge Land Co. , Sabine Federal Credit Union, C&D Candle Co., Orangefield Oilfield Services, Lil Bit Gaudy, Bailey-Buchanan Masonry, Reliable Cleaners, Fuzzy’s and Goin Postal.
Senior Wesley Ackerman said the team has been competing in Region V since September. “It’s going decent this year,” he said. “I’m sitting in the top 10 in almost all my events.” Ackerman competes in calf roping, team roping and steer wrestling. He expects to advance to state. Ackerman plans to continue competing in college.
Winfree is the mother of freshman roper, Jesse Winfree. She said last year in Jr. High School Jesse qualified for state in three events: calf roping, team roping and chute dogging. He is the current Region 5 Champion in chute dogging in his division. His mother said Jesse has held the title for two years. Jesse was joined at the state competition last year in the Jr. High division by Tanner Jenkins.
“We have several of the high school kids that qualified for state last year,” Carol Winfree also said.
“This year we have four rodeos [remaining] in February and then we’ll have the finals in March,” said Chad Jenkins. “Then the state finals are held in June.”
The 16 teen members of the O.C.Y.R.A. are Bailee Ackerman, Wesley Ackerman, Lori Baileaux, Rigby Baker, Hanna Bland, Caleb Cogbill, Shaylon Elms, Keeley Gray, Tanner Jenkins, Kacie Lummus, Megan Moore, Scarlett Neely, Cheyenne Tant, Stuart Welch Jr., Jessie Winfree and Jaycie Young.