It’s that time of year again. The annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo is getting ready to saddle up for 18 days of events, exhibitions, competitions and top-flight entertainment at the Freeman Coliseum/AT&T Center from February 9-26, 2017.
For thousands of dedicated volunteers and countless supporters, however, those 18 days are just part of a year-round labor of love in carrying out the educational and agricultural goals of the rodeo — also known as the San Antonio Livestock Exposition (S.A.L.E.) — for Texas students in the form of scholarships. Since the program’s inception in 1984, the organization has committed more than $171.4 million through scholarships, grants, endowments, junior livestock auctions, youth western art auctions and more.
“Investing in the precious commodity of our Texas youth is very special to us,” said Keith Martin, executive director and CEO, at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo’s annual meeting in May 2016. “The volunteers work so hard during the Rodeo and conducting fundraisers throughout the year to make it happen.”
“We have a lot of events,” says Nancy Loeffler, vice president of S.A.L.E.’s executive committee, who adds that whether you attend the rodeo, enter the grounds, buy at the concessions or attend a fundraiser, “the same end result occurs. The net profit goes to helping kids fund their higher education goals.”
One of the most popular events is the Cowgirls Live Forever Scholarship Luncheon and Fashion Show, February 2, 2017, at the Mays Family Event Center at the Witte Museum.
One of Cordillera’s own is being honored at this year’s luncheon. Carla Hull Northington is the 2017 honoree, who embodies the traits described on the rodeo website of “independence, courage and resilience as a women whose life exemplifies all the characteristics which preserve our western heritage and help to shape Texas agriculture and the youth of Texas.” She joins a distinguished lineup of former honorees including Jimmie Ruth Evans, Olive Anne Kleberg, Nancy Loeffler, Charline McCombs, Julianna Holt, Carolyn Johnson and more.
“I am very honored,” says Carla. “I look at the women who have been honored before me — many of them are my dear friends. They have a giving heart and an inner beauty that comes from the Lord. It is very humbling to be a part of this special group.”
Carla and her attorney/rancher/developer husband of 48 years, S.A.L.E. board member Harold “Mac’ McCann Northington, Jr., have been “involved in the rodeo for a long time, ever since the 1970s when we used to compete in the cutting horse competition.”
Carla’s grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Thomas “J. Ray” McDermott, who owned 7,400 acres outside of Boerne near the Guadalupe River, named the Elmax Ranch. In 1968 Carla and her brother received the Elmax from their grandfather. Then in 1996, after dividing the ranch with her brother, the Northingtons formed a development company with their dear friends from University of Texas days, David and Barbara Hill, and called it Cordillera Ranch. Carla is the co-founder and former president of the Cordillera Ranch Shindig, a 501(c)(3) organization that has given over $1 million to benefit Kendall County ministries.
Of their work with S.A.L.E., Carla says, “Mac and I have a heart for the rodeo, a heart for the children and their going to college. These kids have worked so hard. It’s all about the scholarships and I am honored that I am able to play a part in helping to give them opportunities they may not have had otherwise.”
“One of the things we look for in an honoree is someone who has that background of the spirit of the west, so to speak,” says Nancy Loeffler. “Carla came from a family that had an active ranch and look what she and Mac turned it into. Carla is an independent woman, she’s smart, she’s a lady, and a perfect example of what we want our young girls in Texas to grow up to be.”
For more information and a complete listing of San Antonio Livestock Exposition fundraising events, www.sarodeo.com.
Luxury Limo Van Service To The Rodeo
The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch provides members a van shuttle to, and from, San Antonio and Austin utilizing The Club vans in fleet — two 12-passenger Mercedes Benz Limo Vans. Whether you are headed into town for an evening dinner, off to the airport on an early morning business trip or going to watch the Spurs, this service is a great opportunity for you to sit back and relax while leaving the driving to us.
The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo is our busiest time of the year for van rentals. Be sure and get your reservations in early as this service is extremely popular with our members!
For reservations, contact Shane Reynolds at 210.616.6051.
A FEW FUNDRAISERS TO ENJOY:
Let’s Rodeo Ball
January 2 :: Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum
Features top entertainment, food, fun and dancing
(must be 21+ to attend).
Champion Wine Auction
January 19 :: Mays Family Event Center, Witte Museum
Champion Wine Garden
February 9-26 :: San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo
Student Western Art Auction
January 26 :: Briscoe Western Art Museum
Consists of top ranking artwork judged in the Student Western Art Contest (free entry with museum admission).
Bar-B-Que Cookoff and Festival
January 27-28 :: 2201 Pace Picante Place
A championship event sanctioned by the International Barbeque Cookers Association.
Cowboy Golf Classic
February 21 :: Quarry Golf Club
Supports the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
February 26 :: Expo Hall on the Freeman Coliseum grounds
Puts teams of real working cowboys in competition performing tasks they face in their jobs.