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, and is co sponsored by the Gerry Holmes Family and The Virden Indoor Rodeo and wild West Daze. This year’s recipient is Lyle Brown. 31 years ago, when the decision was made to add a Western Rodeo to the Virden Fire fighter Rodeo weekend, the committee turned to Lyle for advice. Lyle had competed on the Canadian Professional Rodeo circuit and his rodeo knowledge was invaluable. The first few years were more as a trouble shooter and then he joined the committee where it was easier to help shape the direction the rodeo needed to go . He then brought some family and friends aboard with rodeo experience and a positive vision developed looking to the future of the event. Many of these same people or their families are still involved in the event today. Lyle has filled numerous executive positions on the board over his 31 years of involvement. He was at one point vice president ,and then president of the Wild West Daze weekend. He also served for a time as chair person of the Rodeo committee. For many years his responsibilities included hiring the stock contractor as well as the various rodeo personnel. The tremendous sponsorship support has been a huge part of this rodeo’s success, and Lyle was involved in the initial shaping of that program. At one point there was a ” Big 3 Truck Award” given to the Hi point cowboy or cowgirl from Selkirk, Swan River, and Virden rodeos and Lyle was instrumental in the development of that concept. As well as being an accomplished rodeo competitor, Lyle is a purebred Percheron breeder and exhibitor, and as such was instrumental in bringing the Pennwoods Draft Horse Classic Futurity to the weekend, which has been well received by our fans. When the MRCA Finals needed to change their venue for a year, Lyle was at the head of facilitating it’s move to Virden. When the Manitoba High School Rodeo Association was considering hosting the Canadian High School Rodeo Finals, it required a substantial outdoor arena. Lyle’s vast experience in varied rodeo facilities made his input invaluable in the design and development of our outdoor arena. This let to Virden hosting the Canadian High School finals for a 3 year commitment and perhaps as importantly left this community with arguably the best outdoor rodeo arena in the province. When you stop and think about it, there isn’t virtually anything about this rodeo weekend that doesn’t have Lyle’s imprint on it. Congratulations Lyle on being chosen to receive the Gerry Holmes Memorial award as this year’s outstanding volunteer. Lyle is accompanied in the carriage tonite by his wife Kathy. The award is presented by Gerry’s grandson Bo Brown. Our award recipients this evening are escorted in the arena by Bob Schroeder.
Thank you Bob for providing the team and carriage for the presentation tonight. Also Thank you to The Flower Attic and Gifts for providing the corsage and boutonniere for our honorees tonight