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Charity Spotlight: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

Juliet Childers | February 22, 2017 | Feature Features

If there's one synonym for Texas, it's “Rodeo.” March 7 to 26, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo holds a long tradition of giving back— especially to educational pursuits!

Originating as a charitable organization, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has donated more than $400 million to Texas youth since its inaugural event in 1932. In 2016 alone, it awarded $13 million to Texas youth and $5.2 million to educational institutions. Expanded charitable events all serve the organization’s mission statement as showcased on their website: “benefiting youth, supporting education, and facilitating better agricultural practices through exhibitions and presentation.”

The Art Initiative
The School Art program sponsors the Quick Draw event, where students have 50 minutes to create a masterpiece. Elementary school students participate in the Reliant Energy Power of Art and the Hospital Art contests. On top of these events, the HLSR also provides grant funding for groups all around Houston such as the Alley Theatre, Writers in the Schools (WITS) and the American Festival for the Arts.

10K Rodeo Run, 5K Rodeo Run/Walk, Wheelchair Race and Virtual Run
Run, walk or go virtual! The Annual Rodeo Run has donated more than $4 million to the HLSR Education Fund since 1988. In 2016 alone, 10,000 participants raised $350,000 for Houston youth. 10K competitors can enjoy a trip across the Elysian Viaduct, while virtual competitors can sleep in, donate to a great cause and still get a T-shirt. Psst: Don’t forget the wheelchair race!

Rodeo Uncorked! Wine Auction
Hot off the heels of the Best of Bites competition, the Rodeo Uncorked! dinner and wine auction attracts a crowd with discerning palates. Not only do you get to enjoy a full-service, delectable dinner complete with wine pairings from the year’s winners, but you can also participate in the excitement of the auction. No steers or antiques here, just fabulous wine from more than 40 Texas wineries and 16 countries for the ultimate cause—charity!

The Steer Auction Committee
A revered tradition, volunteers for the Steer Auction Committee oversee the preselling of prize-winning steers above market price. They also help coordinate the prestigious Hide Party, the ultimate celebration for all contributors to the HLSR for the year. These movers and shakers are a vital part of the fundraising core of the HLSR and can connect you with 100 pounds of the best locally sourced beef you might ever have.

Champagne Cowgirls
Combine chic Texas fashion and a whole lotta bling, and you get the Champagne Cowgirls. This group of philanthropic beauties embodies the Texan tradition of larger-than-life generosity every year in the Steer Auction. Their goal is to give back in style—just ask last year’s champion steer, Aspen Martin. Keep an eye out for anything silver and turquoise. That’s a sign that you’re about to be outbid!


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