Mike and Tami Russon with Lon and Carolyn Hutchinson of the Round-Up Rodeo Concessions Committee.

Last week was the 80th anniversary of the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo, the centerpiece of the celebration of all things Lehi during the last full week of June. The Rodeo Committee is staffed with dozens of amazing people, but they couldn’t put on a three-night rodeo without the hundreds of volunteers from LDS wards all over the city.

For decades the LDS wards in Lehi have volunteered their time working at the Round-Up Rodeo and making mini floats for the parades. During the three nights of the rodeo, volunteers (some who have no interest in rodeos) serve as ushers, parking attendants, clean-up crew (imagine what’s under the bleachers after a rodeo!), security and

concessions. Mike Russon, a member of the Rodeo Concessions Committee, explained, “Running the rodeo with volunteers goes back to the roots of Lehi. We want it to have a hometown feel, to keep our family values in place. We don’t want it to feel like a business, or to have a corporate sponsor dictating to us.”

Neighbors serving neighbors at the rodeo.

The bulk of the volunteers work concessions at two shacks on the north and south side of the arena. Each shack needs 50 volunteers for each night of the rodeo. One of the highlights of the Round-Up Rodeo is the Rodeo Burger – between the two concession booths, they make about 10,000 burgers over the course of the three nights. For as long as anyone can remember, Kohler’s has been supplying the meat, buns, lettuce, and the closely-guarded Secret Sauce. Only a few have the recipe and Kohler’s even sells the sauce by the pint, but only during Round-Up Week.

This year four Lehi wards were asked to supply 25 volunteers per night for three nights to work concessions at the Round-Up Rodeo. These volunteers cooked burgers and hot dogs, assembled burgers, put nachos together, took orders at the windows, made snow cones, and ran between all the stations making sure there was enough of everything. It’s a hot and frantic four hour race for three nights, but everyone seems pretty happy. The opportunity to work side-by-side with neighbors doesn’t happen very often anymore. “Once we instill the desire to be civic-minded, we get people coming forward a few months later asking how they can help the Rodeo Committee,” said Mike Russon. Those who have been serving on the committee for years love to see others catch the vision.

“I want to express the deep appreciation we have for our volunteers. I get choked up talking about it. It’s really something to see people engage and come together as a community. I’m so glad they give of their time and talents – we couldn’t do it without them,” Russon enthused.

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