Donors circle wagons, raise money at ball

Expectations exceeded for inaugural fair fundraiser

Mike DiFerdinando
Items were auctioned off at the inagural Cowboy Ball May 6 to raise money for the Douglas County Fair Foundation.
Mike DiFerdinando
Items were auctioned off at the inagural Cowboy Ball May 6 to raise money for the Douglas County Fair Foundation.
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Castle Rock residents turned up in their finest boots and bling for the Douglas County Fair Foundation's inaugural Cowboy Ball on May 3.

The dinner, held at the Douglas County Fairgrounds Events Center, raised money for the annual county fair and rodeo.

“We just kind of fell into this. We were looking for something different. A cowboy ball hadn't been done, so we thought, this is a great thing for the community to support the fair,” foundation board member and head of marketing Pam Spradlin said.

The foundation has partnered with Douglas County to complete Phase I of the new Heritage Plaza at the fairgrounds.

The ball featured a cash bar, dinner and dancing, as well as silent and live auctions. Tickets cost $125 each and a table for eight could be purchased for $1,000 and included an engraved brick to be placed in the Heritage Plaza.

“Our goal was 10 tables and we sold 26, so we're very happy,” Spradlin said.

The fair and rodeo has been enjoyed in Douglas County for 95 years. Programs that the foundation supports include the Bob Thomas Memorial Scholarship, The Queens Scholarship, the Junior Livestock Sale & the Fair and Rodeo Wall of Honor.

Engraved Bricks, which will be laid in the Heritage Plaza, were also available to purchase as donations. Bricks could be bought for $250, many of which were laid as memorials for rodeo-loving family members.

The event also featured a roast of the honorable Jim Sullivan, who served as commissioner of the foundation for many years.

“As a commissioner he was a huge driving force behind making sure the fair and the rodeo continued. We have such a suburban population that doesn't get to access the 4-H and other stuff as much as the rural areas and we want to make sure it's open for everyone and he's kind of been that guiding light and we thought what better way than to have some fun at his expense,” Spradlin said.

While the foundation hopes to hold a yearly dinner to raise money and awareness for the fair and rodeo, the theme will change each year.

“Plans have already started for next year. We've talked about a couple different ideas, a derby party perhaps. Since it's the time of the Kentucky, we're thinking about a derby or a gambling night type thing,” foundation vice chair Monica Wasden said. “We want to make it fun. Make it something that everyone wants to come to.”