The Lakeside Rodeo, it’s all about the kids

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Well for me at least it has been an exciting weekend in Lakeside. There were so many events going on throughout East County, our crew was spread thin and wide in coverage. But I had a blast and the 150 miles I put on my car is partial proof. But in all my years in Lakeside, I learned something new about the rodeo. It is all about the kids in the community.

Well for me at least it has been an exciting weekend in Lakeside. There were so many events going on throughout East County, our crew was spread thin and wide in coverage. But I had a blast and the 150 miles I put on my car is partial proof. But in all my years in Lakeside, I learned something new about the rodeo. It is all about the kids in the community.

As I was setting up for my first round of rodeo competitions on Saturday, I met “Rooster” David Delmark. He has volunteered for the El Capitan Stadium Association for 26 years and by his excitement, something he loves doing. He asked me if I knew what the rodeo was all about and I replied with my own excitement about watching the rodeo competitions, which I am a big fan of. But, he told me I was wrong.

“It’s all about the kids,” he said. “The rodeo is all about getting money for the kids of Lakeside because the government doesn’t take care of them. We want you to have a good time and support our kids.”

This got me thinking and the next day when I checked in I spoke to Kate Cunningham. She is a volunteer of 23 years and has worn many hats and titles during that time. So I asked her about what Rooster had said to me.

She then began to tell me everything that the El Capitan Stadium Association does for the Lakeside community year round. She told me that the Association began 50 years ago when a group of parents decided to take it into their own hands in helping the youth of the community. She said the Association is full of parents, teachers, lawyers, coaches, school administrators, businesses and community members that meet twice a month to decide what can be done to raise more money and what they can further do to help the youth of Lakeside.

Cunningham said that teachers come twice a month to get school supplies that the schools do not supply. She said, at any playground in the community and schools, they are a part of, and provided El Capitan with its stadium and pool. They purchase uniforms for the bands and sports, instruments, books, computers, adaptive aids, provide gardening projects, fund local clinics for needy kids, fund the arts, dance and swimmers and the list goes on and on.

I was astounded at what this organization does and the dedication that it has for the youth of its community. Through the years, the Association has provided up to $250,000 a year to further these causes, provide youth with the tools they need to succeed and it is all done by volunteers. Cunningham said that with the exception of a few key personnel needed to make the rodeo safe, everything is done with volunteers.

This is a model for any community as government cuts constantly take away more than they give our kids. It might not be a stadium, (but that surely helps), but there has to be a way for other communities to step in and try to model the success of this group of community members.

The rodeo is only three days out of the year, but the stadium is available all year round for any kind of event. We know about the rodeos, concerts and big venue ticket items, but the stadium is available for use for weddings, parties and any kind of event that a person or organization might want to use it for. And it is now my understanding that the facility is available at a low cost compared to alternative venues.

I am in full support of what the Association has done and continues to do and advocate anyone in East County that can, to support it in anyway it can. You don’t have to live in Lakeside to make a difference, and think about this unique venue for your next big event. After all, it’s all for the kids.

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