Each year the Virden Indoor Rodeo and Wild West Daze recognizes a volunteer who has made an exceptional commitment to the production of this weekend’s events by awarding them the Gerry Holmes memorial award. It is presented in memory of Gerry Holmes who was a dedicated leader of this event for many years.
This year’s recipient is Ed Spraggs.
Ed was a member of the Virden Kinsmen group and as such was involved in the production of the Virden Fire Fighters Rodeo back in the day. Then when the Western Rodeo began in 1989 he continued on with this event. He has been a part of this committee ever since, taking a break during the stageing of the last years rodeo while being treated for cancer. He is now healthy and back as a full time active member of the group. He is one of only a small handful of people who have been involved with the event for all 30 years.
Ed is a member of the Wild West Daze steering committee and as such his responsibility is beverages at the dance and beer gardens. This involves first of all navigation of the ever changing liquor commission regulations for that event. It requires a host of volunteers to look after the thirsty capacity dance crowd. Finding them and scheduling the volunteers shifts is an important task-one that Ed undertakes on a yearly basis. He has a number of volunteers who come back year after year – some for as many 25 years.
Of course there is more to do then just at the dance itself. He is involved in the group that turns the curling rink into a dance hall, and then cleans up after and returns it back to a curling facility.
The Wild West Daze steering committee holds monthly meetings throughout the year and Ed can be counted on to be in attendance at virtually all of them. His years of experience at this event as it has progressed make his input on the decisions made at this table very valuable.
Congratulations Ed on being chosen to receive the Gerry Holmes Memorial award as this year’s outstanding volunteer. Ed is accompanied in the carriage tonite by his wife Leslie.
The award is presented by Gerry’s grandson Bo Brown.
Thanks to Virden Flower Attic and Gift shop for donating Ed’s boutonniere. Also thanks to Silver Oak Percherons, the Darcy Strain family for providing the team to bring our guests in this evening and to Darryl Horn for providing the carriage