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UNION — Kymee Braseth made her mark at this year’s EOLS, the “Oldest Show in the Northwest.”
A JOB WELL DONE: 2008 EOLS President Ray McDaniel awards Queen Kymee Braseth a plaque commending her outstanding commitment. The Observer/AMBER GLAZE
Kymee, 18, won the title Queen of the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show, 2008. She sold $28,312 worth of tickets — that’s 2,476 tickets. She sold more than any other queen in the 101 years of Stock Show.
With two competitors, Kymee won all three court competitions: speech/performance, horsemanship and ticket sales.“I would do it all over again too,” Kymee said.
EOLS President Ray McDaniel said about Kymee, “I was tremendously impressed with the job she did.”
McDaniel awarded Kymee with a plaque this week commending her diligence and hard work.
The money raised from the ticket sales goes to pay for the rodeo part of Stock Show. “It’s quite expensive to put that show on, about $55,000 for the rodeo itself,” said McDaniel.
He was expecting a total between the three queen candidates to amount about $20,000. Kymee’s goal was $30,000 and when she brought in, alone, more that $28,000, “it was a sigh of relief because the bills add up fast,” McDaniel said.
Craig Braseth, Kymee’s father, said, “A lot of hard work was put into this effort. Her mother and she had a plan and a goal.”
He added, “There were some times she didn’t want to get out of the house but she buckled down.”
Kymee ran for the queen title during her senior year at Imbler High School. It was not an easy task to stay on top of school and court duties. At the time, Kymee was in FFA and FBLA. She was editor for the yearbook and working on a senior project.
The Stock Show court had eight weeks for ticket sales. To stay on target, she said, “I had to sell $500 worth of tickets a day. If I didn’t make my goal I had more to sell the next day.”
Kymee went door to door, sent 400 letters, posted flyers and cards, and travelled to Pendleton, Baker, Wallowa and all of Union County to spread the word and sell tickets. “I could not have done this without the support of my parents.”
“People bought tickets who wanted to support Kymee but couldn’t be here, so she donated them,” said Craig. She donated about $250 worth of those tickets to senior citizens in town, who were able to go in groups by bus to the rodeo.
Craig said, “The experience is amazing — selling tickets for what EOLS is all about — kids, FFA and 4-H projects.”
Stock Show is a year-long planning event. McDaniel said, “It takes several thousand hours of volunteer work. People come from all over the valley to help. One year I totaled 6,000 volunteer hours put in.”
All three agree this year’s EOLS was a great success. There are four girls on the court this year, and Kymee says they are all great girls. What’s her advice to the next court candidates? She said, “Be really organized, write down names and numbers to follow-up and stay positive.”
Kymee finished her first term at Treasure Valley Community College in pre-medical studies. The next step in the rodeo chain is Miss Rodeo Oregon. She is considering going for the feat. She said, “It is very involved. You have to have two $50,000 horses.” And her dad said jokingly, “And new parents.”
For now, Kymee has five horses and a pony and is working on her education.
The EOLS 2009 budget has been set, and the queen court is busy working on color schemes and outfits. EOLS Kickoff is set for April 4, 2009.
More information is available at www.easternoregonlivestockshow.com.