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National High School Rodeo in search of volunteers for July finals in Springfield

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[FEB. 3, 2006]  SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Non-Fair Events is beginning its search for volunteers for the National High School Rodeo Association Finals, which will be at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield July 24-30. More than 700 volunteers will be needed to staff this event.

"The Illinois State Fairgrounds was chosen to host the 'world's largest rodeo' because we have great facilities and a solid reputation for putting together a top-notch event," said Randy Wells said, non-fair events manager. "Dedicated volunteers are the key to a successful event, and we're looking to tap into local communities and recruit people that will not only uphold our reputation, but also show other nationally recognized events what Springfield and our fairgrounds have to offer."

Volunteers are needed to staff workstations, including contestant registration, horse check-in, stabling, message center, trade show, hospitality, on-site camping, parking and security. Some committees begin their work the week prior to the rodeo, and other committees must be staffed 24 hours a day.

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The National High School Rodeo Association was created to give high school students the opportunity to participate and compete in a unique and challenging sport. Although not recognized by high school athletics, the association offers a rodeo program that sets high school rodeo apart from other varsity sports. Athletes compete on a scale comparable to collegiate and professional rodeo competitors. National High School Finals Rodeo contestants compete in a dozen events, including steer wrestling, barrel racing and team roping.

People interested in volunteering for the event are asked to call Pati Kohlbecker, (217) 782-0772, or the state fair office, (217) 782-0770.

[Illinois Department of Agriculture news release]

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