The Santa Maria-Bonita School District would like to thank the dozens and dozens of sponsors, volunteers and supporters that helped make the recent Minetti Mini Rodeo one of the best ever! More than 1,800 3rd grade students, special education students, teachers and chaperones from SMBSD attended the Mini Rodeo in June. A total of nearly 6,000 school children and adults from two counties enjoyed the display of young rodeo talent and had a great time learning about one of Santa Maria’s traditions.

The district is especially grateful to the Santa Maria Elks Lodge No. 1538 and many other organizations, businesses and individuals for sponsoring the annual Mini Rodeo for children throughout the Santa Maria Valley. The district also thanks the many volunteers who made the event run smoothly, including volunteers from the Elks Lodge, GenSpan and Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Primary Mini Rodeo sponsors who deserve special thanks include: Altrusa Club of Santa Maria, Barks Plumbing, California Fresh, CalPortland Construction, the California Highway Patrol, Coca-Cola, Comcast Cable, Community Bank of Santa Maria, Delta Kappa Gamma Society, Eagles Club of Santa Maria, Elks Lodge #1538, GenSpan Foundation, Independent Order of Foresters, Local Copies, Los Alamos Men’s Club, Manfred Sander, Marian Medical Center, Oceano Elks Lodge, the Santa Barbara County Cattleman’s Association, Santa Barbara County Cattlewomen, the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau, the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce, Santa Maria Times, Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation, Student Transportation of America, and Sunny Country 102.5 FM. Many of those key donors contributed money to cover the expenses of busing the students to the Mini Rodeo, printing the student Activity Book, and providing the volunteers with lunch. Some provided advertising or publicity for free. Coca-Cola donated water for the students and volunteers. The CHP officers donated their time to provide traffic control. Local Copies did all the necessary printing for free. The Chamber of Commerce assisted with the cost of the lunch and provided a small American flag for each person attending the rodeo. The Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau provided book bags filled with teaching materials and classroom supplies to every teacher.

Other sponsors who made the Mini Rodeo a success include: Alamo Farming, American Flag and Gift, Apio Inc., Babe Farms, Elks Lodge #1538’s Beard A Reno Committee, Americanism Committee, Pancake Breakfast Committee, Drug Awareness Committee, Menudo Committee and Touring Elks, Betteravia Farms, Bill’s Drapery Service, BJ’s ATV Rental, John and Brandy Branquinho, Stowasser Pontiac Buick GMC, Cal Coast Machinery, the City of Santa Maria, Diani Companies, Dr. Michael Smith, Elks Lodge  #322 San Luis Obispo, Farm Supply Company, Bryan and Karen Feldpouch, Glenda Rogers Tax Service, JB Dewar, Jocko’s Restaurant, Jumps-R-Us, Kiwanis Club of Guadalupe, Koehler Plumbing, Inc., Kumon Tutoring, Santa Maria Noontime Lions Club, La Brea Plaza, Las Cuezalas, Lompoc Community Bank, Marshall-Spoo Sunset Chapel,  John and Gloria Mascarenas, Mid-State Fair, Rosalie Minetti, Pacific Christian School, Pat Mercer, Peppertree Chevron, Pinky Signorelli, Plantel Nurseries, Platinum Performance, Quinn Rental Service, Rabobank, Rancho La Purisima, Robin and Stephanie Ventura, Santa Maria-Bonita CSEA Chapter 129, Santa Maria Elks PER Association, Santa Maria Speedway, Santa Maria Fire Fighters, Sisk ATA, Smith Electric, Spencer’s Fresh Market, Splash Cafe, Steve and Marie Will, Stowell Shopping Center, Straw Hat Pizza, Tri W Enterprises, Upward Bound Preschool, Tamara Vaughan, and Waste Management.

Additionally, the district would like to thank some of the rodeo personnel and individuals who worked to make the Minetti Mini Rodeo such a success: the entire Elks Mini Rodeo Committee, Kent Lane, Martin Kiff, Tony Gonzales, Cotton Rosser, Sara Arbaugh, John Payne, Chuck Lopeman, Seth Doulton and Lucas Brannon.

The Mini Rodeo is a huge undertaking and a lot of work for many, many people. It’s gratifying to know that so many businesses, community groups and individuals can come together and plan, organize and implement a wonderful event for the children of the Santa Maria Valley.