Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation
The Miss Rodeo America program provides one of the most visible media spokespersons for the sport of professional rodeo and the Western way of life.
Since its inception in 1955, the Miss Rodeo America Pageant has recognized the need for scholarships to help contestants further their education. The Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation was established in 1998 to broaden the scope of the scholarship program.
Prior to the Foundation's inception, Miss Rodeo America, Inc., distributed thousands of dollars annually in scholarship benefits to help talented deserving young women further their studies and become tomorrow's leaders. The non-profit Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation, Inc. now continues this tradition.
Only contestants in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant are eligible to receive Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation Educational Scholarship(s). To be a contestant in the Miss Rodeo America Pageant you must first be a state title holder. Look on the state organizations page to see if your state has a national director. If not, please contact the MRA office for more information.
Scholarship Donor Opportunities
The Foundation offers donors the opportunity to support those who appreciate the sport of professional rodeo, and a way of life that was founded on the legacy of the American Cowboy. In doing so, it offers donors the opportunity to protect and preserve our Western Heritage and lifestyle.
HERE'S HOW YOU CAN HELP
Your contributions to the scholarship program, in any amount, are welcome and vital.
Monetary contributions may be in the form of a one-time gift, or as an ongoing commitment through a structured payment schedule at pre-determined intervals. Additionally, stocks, bonds, property, or naming the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy are all equally valuable ways of supporting the Foundation.
Bequests to the Foundation through a will, trust, or other estate planning vehicle will serve as lifelong memorials to honor a friend or loved one, as feelings of gratitude and tribute are seldom easy to eloquently and permanently express.
In order to maintain our current level of scholarship funding for Miss Rodeo America contestants, our goal is to raise $500,000. The primary emphasis of this fund raising effort will be to establish and develop a self-perpetuating scholarship fund which guarantees the program's continuation for tomorrow's leaders. Several levels of giving have been defined to provide a focus for the Foundation program:
SCHOLARSHIP LEVELS OF GIVING
Western Heritage Partners—$15,000-$29,999
*Corporations or individuals who wish to provide a major gift of $30,000 or more may do so by contributing to a one-time gift that guarantees the continuation of one or more Foundation scholarships. A gift to fully fund a scholarship must be approximately 20 times the annual scholarship amount.
Important Notes About Scholarship Contributions
All contributions are tax deductible Funds received by the scholarship Foundation will be used only for their intended purpose Funds will be invested as a lump sum into a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds and other instruments. An Investment Committee shall monitor all funds, and present recommendations to the board of directors for their continuing investment.
THE SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION BENEFITS EVERYONE
RECIPIENT—The Recipient of a Miss Rodeo America Foundation scholarship reaps the primary benefit. Such financial assistance allows contestants to further their education, while easing the financial strain of tuition, books, fees and other costs associated with higher education.
DONOR—You benefit because your gift is tax deductible. More importantly, you have the personal satisfaction of knowing that you have played a major role in the continuation of this program.
PROFESSIONAL RODEO—The Miss Rodeo America Pageant, and the sport of rodeo benefit, too. Offering scholarships to contestants is a very real incentive that attracts quality young women from throughout the country who are proven leaders, highly motivated, dedicated, loyal and energetic in their quest to preserve the legacy and legends of the American West. Please do your part to assist them in that quest.
Board of Directors
Kelly D. Baxley—from Carrollton, Texas, serves as PRESIDENT of the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation. Mr. Baxley has worked for the fourth largest employer in the world, Siemens, since 1992. As a senior account executive, he is responsible for developing business opportunities with the Texas Higher Education marketplace. Kelly is graduate with honors from Paris Junior College with an Associates Degree in Applied Science in Air Conditioning Technology. Kelly and his wife Cindy enjoy spending their free time in the great outdoors camping, fishing, hunting and doing what they can to preserve "mother nature."
Berlyn Miller—serves as VICE PRESIDENT of the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation. Berlyn is a long-time friend of Miss Rodeo America Inc., and Las Vegas resident joined the MRA Scholarship Foundation board in 2007. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Miller is President of Berlyn Miller & Associates, a Business and Government Relations Consulting firm. In addition to serving on many boards including Las Vegas Events and the National Finals Rodeo Committee Miller has been re-appointed by Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn as Vice Chairman of the Nevada Commission on Economic Development.
Glenn Klaus—Justice of the Peace for Medina County, Texas, serves as the TREASURER for the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation. Glenn believes in rodeo and has been a long-time supporter of the Miss Rodeo America Pageant. He currently sponsors the scrapbook awards and helps on several pageant committees. When he meets the pageant contestants he sees the spirit of the old west hope for the future of America and wants to further their educational opportunities.
Deborah Dilley Palermo*—Is a retired commander of the Denver Police Department and is an ardent supporter of young people, particularly those who share her love of the western way of life. Deborah also is an executive board member of her local federal credit union.
Patricia Fulcher*—For more than 25 years, Trish has dedicated her energies to supporting young people and their involvement with horses. A native Arizonan, Trish resides in a rural area of Peoria, Arizona with her husband Dale and Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Trish was honored to serve as the Foundation's first President, and remains a Founding Director. Trish is a member of the Arizona Paralegal Association, a Certified Professional Secretary, and is employed as Controller for LANDJ Investments, LLC in Phoenix, Arizona.
Arlene Kensinger—from Cheyenne, Wyoming has spent 35 years as a cosmetologist and make-up artist. A Gold Card member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and was a member of the Wild West Show troupe at the World's Fair in Brussels. A volunteer for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo since 1959, Founder of the Cheyenne Dandies equestrian team, worked with Miss Frontier and served on the Miss Rodeo Wyoming Board for 10 years. A member of Miss Rodeo America, Inc., since 1979 and served two years as the organization's President.
Karie O’Donnell Herbers - Karie is a former Miss Rodeo Washington, past member of the Miss Rodeo America Executive Board and served as the National Director for the Miss Rodeo Washington Association for ten years. Karie works as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Eli Lilly & Company. She is a graduate of Central Washington University where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Video Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Mass Communications. In addition to her Bachelors Degree, she has two 2 year degrees and 4 technical degrees. Karie is an avid barrel racer and trainer, a certified equine appraiser and a distributor of Oxy-Gen feed supplements.
Cindy Schonholtz - Cindy serves as the Director of Industry Outreach for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). In this position she handles all livestock welfare and related government relations for the association. Additionally, she oversees the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund and the youth outreach efforts. She is the President of the Animal Welfare Council, Vice President of the National Animal Interest Alliance member, serves on the Animal Welfare Committee of the American Horse Council and is a member of the Public Policy Committee for the American Quarter Horse Association. She served as the Executive Director for the American Youth Horse Council for 4 years and was on the Colorado Horse Council Board of Directors for 10 years. Cindy has been involved with horses since she got her first pony at age 10. She has shown American Quarter Horses in many disciplines and competed in rodeos in the barrel racing in High School and professionally. In the past she served as the Executive Director of the Miss Rodeo California Pageant.
Desiree Larsen - Desiree, from Ogden, Utah, is a former Miss Rodeo Utah and has been associated with Miss Rodeo America in a variety of capacities. She has served as the Miss Rodeo Utah National Director and as a representative on the National Advisory Council and presently serves on the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo Executive Board as well as the Ogden Pioneer Heritage Foundation Board. Desiree is a tenured Full Professor at Weber State University and teaches in technical selling and specializes in putting together sales presentations with over 25 years of selling experience to Fortune 500 companies.
Mark Reinert - Mark, from Kersey, Colorado, has 20+ years of business experience and 12 years of experience working with the rodeo and entertainment industry. Mark held the position of Co-Director for the Miss Rodeo Colorado Pageant for 5 years and continues to offer his time and talents where needed and requested. He has worked as the Chairperson for the Greeley Independence Stampede Scholarship Foundation, is currently the Co-Chairman for CSU Ag Day event, the Vice-Chairman for the Colorado FFA Foundation and the Co-Chairman of Round-Up at the Fort. Mark has extensive knowledge and an incredible working relationship with various rodeo committees and the PRCA where he serves on their Advisory Board for the Strategic Rodeo Council.
Raeana Wadhams*—serves as Executive Director of the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation and is the Executive Director of Miss Rodeo America, Inc. A recipient of numerous awards, Raeana has devoted her career to helping young women succeed as pageant participants on the state and national level and represents the very essence of the western way of life.
Whitney Seufer—serves as Administrative Assistant of the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation and is the Administrative Assistant of Miss Rodeo America, Inc.
*Founding member of Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Foundation.
Foundation legal representation by: Ira M. Schwartz, Esq.
DECONCINI McDONALD YETWIN & LACY, P.C.