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Campus Communications
Laura Dahl, Director
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, Oklahoma 73939
Phone: 580-349-1354 * Fax: 580-349-1350
Email: lola@opsu.edu

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Coach Craig Latham, left, honored the Wirtz family of Guymon at the Top Hand Auction. Betsey, Larry, and Shelley Wirtz accepted the 2007 Top Hand Sponsor of the Year Award. Wirtz Lumber provided the materials to finish the inside of the multi-use building at the Doc Gardner Memorial Rodeo Arena. – Campus Communications photo

**For Immediate Release**
Top Hand Auction Helps Fund Another Year of Rodeo
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 02-06-2007
by Laura Hays

Goodwell , Okla. - Over 150 people filled the Pickle Creek Center Saturday night, February 3, for the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Rodeo Team’s Top Hand Auction. The Wirtz family was honored as Top Hand Sponsors for their contribution of donated materials to help finish the multi-use building at the Doc Gardner Memorial Arena. What was once just a metal building now accommodates an apartment in one end to house recruits and their parents overnight, a concession area, public restrooms, and a tack room. The generosity of the Wirtz family also helped complete all of the plumbing as well as the heating and cooling.

Prior to the auction, attendees enjoyed a free barbecue meal donated by Kim Peterson and Hunny’s of Guymon. Clay Myers of Texhoma Livestock began the bidding with groups of rodeo team members, with each member donating four hours of work to the winning bidder. The team of Lexi Honey, Brandi Guttormson, and Becca Fellman and the team of Jace Boaldin and Seth Schafer brought the top bids at $250.

Rodeo team members also asked for and received donations for additional auction items, which ranged from fine art to tack to furniture. Between the donated time of the team members and the auction items, Coach Craig Latham said the auction raised over $10,000.

Community support remains an integral part of winning national rodeo championships, and the OPSU rodeo team and Craig Latham would like to thank everyone who attended the auction and either donated or purchased items. A special thanks goes to the Wirtz family, the 2007 Top Hand Sponsors; Steve Long of the Pickle Creek Event Center; Hunny’s and Kim Peterson for providing the excellent barbecue meal; Clay Myers of Texhoma Livestock Auction for contributing his auctioneering skills; the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo Committee for sponsoring the beverage stall; and Wooden Nickel Band for the music.

Spring rodeo kicks off at Kansas State in Manhattan February 23-25. The men’s team currently sits in first place in the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association standings and tops the team in the number two spot by over 870 points. The women are currently second place, and hope to slip into the number one spot when the spring rodeo season gets under way.

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Developed by: Michal Stachowski
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