By Michael Buhler
In spite of a change in leadership at the Argonia Plains Church, its association with the city’s rodeo will continue.
That decision was announced recently by the congregation, whose continued sponsorship of the rodeo came into question when former pastor Dave Norman resigned last fall to take a church in Vermont.
“There are just a handful of people that head it up,” Ron Kenney, a member of the Plains Church advisory council and the Argonia city council, said. “We have the support of the whole church.
However, the planning committee – consisting of Rod Burger, T.C. Dawson, Scott Jones and myself – has decided that we have the resources to put this extravaganza on. We have the resources to go forward, and we decided that we could keep the thing going.”
The support of the city council and recent renovations to the rodeo arena have not hurt, either.
“We’ve had the support of the city council,” Kenney said. “They recently renovated the arena that had some safety issues. The Roundup Club didn’t deed the property to the city, but they did relinquish control of it and the community center. We’re working things out as to how to deal with that. The facility was there but it needed renovations and people to latch onto it and really change the management of that.”
Another factor that is a positive is that others want to utilize the rodeo grounds at other times besides rodeo time.
“Even though we haven’t quite finished up the transition, we are still working toward doing that,” Kenney said. “There are people who want to utilize the grounds at other times, such as the Junior Rodeo Association. They’re going to have their finals there in August. There are also some team roping entities that want to utilize those facilities as well.”
There are two rodeos that the church works with at the arena. One is in May as part of Argonia Daze, and the other is Labor Day weekend. Both are two-night events.
“We’re giving it a big effort,” Kenney said. “I’m hoping it will pan out. The church and the city itself is providing enough resources to keep things going.”