PLAYAS, N.M., Oct. 17, 2007 – The Playas Training and Research Center, a division of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) of New Mexico Tech recently hosted the first-ever “Brenda Manos Memorial Ranch Rodeo” and family fun day this past Saturday, October 13 in Playas, N.M.
Manos was the administrative manager at the Playas Training and Research Center since its inception, until she passed away earlier this year.
The successful inaugural event was sponsored by the Cotton City 4-H Club, which was Manos’ favorite youth organization. Proceeds garnered from the event, which so far have netted more than $1,500, have been donated in memory of Manos to that specific 4-H club in Hidalgo County.
U.S. Representative Steve Pearce and Louise Peterson, chair of the Hidalgo County Commission, both attended and presented awards at the Brenda Manos Memorial Ranch Rodeo, and also met with constituents at the event.
Highlights of the soon-to-be annual event included children’s park games, a horseshoe tournament, a silent auction, a cake auction, bingo, cowboy poetry, a dance, a barbeque hosted by the Copper Pins and Playas Store, and, of course, the featured rodeo.
Animas High School students who are current members of the school’s Business Professional Association also were on hand, providing morning and evening concessions for those attending.
The Arkansas Army National Guard’s 1-142 Field Artillery Battalion, which is temporarily stationed at Playas for “Operation Jump Start,” provided the Color Guard for the opening and closing ceremonies at the memorial rodeo.
Local celebrities performing at the daylong event included trick roper Darrell Hawkins of Deming, cowboy poets Allen “Hook” Hill and Bill Cavaliere, and Tom “TomKat” Shamp and Laine “Liberty Bell” Vowell, who provided music and song.
The main host, John L. Meason, director of New Mexico Tech’s EMRTC, declared the event “a great success,” despite Saturday’s windy conditions. The Playas Training and Research Center staff is already planning for next year’s event.