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Central PA Rodeo set for this weekend to benefit St. Matthew School

Rodeo donation

The Central PA Rodeo is coming to Huntingdon this weekend, June 22-24. The rodeo, which is a fundraising event for St. Matthew School in Tyrone, is made possible by the many volunteers and sponsors, including Omega Bank, which recently donated $1,000 for the event. From left is Father Joseph Orr; Jim Gregory of Omega Bank; Jack Lewis and Todd Lewis. (The Daily Herald/Amanda Golden)

It’s time once again for the rodeo to come to central Pennsylvania.
This weekend the Huntingdon Fairgrounds will transform into a rodeo arena as cowboys and girls from all over the country come to town this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Gates open three hours prior to the start of events, which begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
The Rawhide Rodeo company is based in Leichester, NY and performs throughout the USA and Canada bringing high quality, high intensity performances to regional audiences.
The event is sanctioned by the IPRA and APRA.
A previous press release gave a brief explanation of the American cowboy and what rodeos consist of in today’s world.
“Rodeo is a true American sport, springing from the unique occupation of the American Cowboy. The rodeo cowboy has taken the skills of the ranch cowboy and refined them with the perfection and precision required of all professional athletes. Rules were added to the contests, imposing conditions and pressures ranch cowboys do not have.
“Rodeo competitors spend countless hours and miles traveling from one rodeo to another. Travel logs of 75,000 miles per year are common for cowboys and cowgirls who usually enter three or more rodeos per week and commute all over the country.”
The hope of St. Matthew’s is that the rodeo will prove to be a successful fundraiser, that’s unique and enjoyable for everyone.
This rodeo provides a chance for central Pennsylvania residents to attend an event that isn’t common in this area. Individuals travel from as far away as Somerset and even Ohio. It’s also a boost to local economy as many travelers choose to stay in the area for the weekend, which includes staying at local hotels and eating out.
This is the third year the school has put together the rodeo, which originally started to help fund the school addition, which is set to be completed this summer.
According to Father Joseph Orr, the school project right now is running over two and a half million dollars, all of which came to the school through the generosity of Mr. Leonard Zanghi, who loved this school, this parish and this community.
“The rodeo is an important element in our attempt to make this school affordable,” said Father Orr, “It is our policy that no child should be turned away for lack of ability to pay tuition. We have nearly $1 million in our tuition assistance program, which is the best assistance program in our region.”
Father Orr also remembered a man who was a great part of past rodeos, as well as the church.
“This year, with the rodeo, our minds will continuously be turning to a great contributor to the rodeo who passed away this year – Dennis Boscaino – who is sadly missed,” added Father Orr.
He also wanted to thank everyone who has volunteered to work on this event, as well as the sponsors.
“Ventures like this require a lot of man hours and the backing of quite a few sponsors,” he said. “The rodeo committee and myself would like to thank all those who helped make this possible.”
Saint Matthew’s is one of the smallest schools in the diocese, yet the burden placed on the parish is the lowest and its students consistently test above national grade average.
The dedication of the new school building is set for Saturday evening, July 28 following the 5 p.m. mass. Then on Sunday, July 29 there will be an open house for those wishing to see the new facility. Also, Bishop Joseph Adamec will be on hand for the dedication ceremony.
“We really appreciate the cooperation of the Tyrone Area School District,” added Father Orr. “They were very cooperative and made easier a very difficult time for us.”
On June 22-24, top IRPA and APRA cowboys and cowgirls will be at St. Matthew’s School rodeo at the Huntingdon County Fairgrounds to compete for prize money and world championship points.
For more information on the rodeo, log onto www.centralparodeo.com.
Tickets are also available at Reliance Bank and Ace Fix-It Hardware.
Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for children ages four to 12. Tickets at the gate are $15 for adults and $5 for children four to 12. Children under three are admitted for free.