That's how Bill Dubois, a 2004 inductee in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame, replied when asked why he had been volunteering for more than four decades in a variety of capacities at the "Daddy of 'em All."
"It's the Cheyenne thing to do" for tens of hundreds of volunteers who provide the people power to produce what arguably is the largest outdoor western celebration in the world. For more than a century, chief executive officers of large companies, bank presidents, school teachers, realtors, homemakers, state and federal employees- literally folks from every walk of life- have devoted millions of volunteer hours to plan, organize and execute all the events associated with Cheyenne Frontier Days.
It began as a simple one-day celebration in September of 1897 when a group of volunteers from the Cheyenne business community thought it would be fun and profitable to stage a western celebration. Today, more than 2,500 volunteers work around the calendar to produce an event that borders on two weeks long and includes parades, pancake breakfasts, world-class concerts, chili and chuckwagon cookoffs, carnival, exhibits, Indian Village, military open houses and performances by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and, of course the event that started it all-nine Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) rodeos.
Volunteers are the fuel that drives the Cheyenne Frontier Days engine. Tasks range from sorting stock for the nine rodeos plus the slack performances; caring for the world's largest horse-drawn carriage collection and a remarkable period clothing collection; mucking horse stalls; directing traffic in all types of weather; manning gates; the care and feeding of a large media contingent; serving as hosts to the tens of thousands of spectators who enjoy the variety of events; the care and maintenance of a 100-acre park with barns, grandstands, exhibit halls, food facilities and arenas and thousands of other grizzly little details that must be accomplished for the event to succeed.
You get the picture. Cheyenne Frontier Days is a small community in and of itself for the better part of the month of July, and, complimented by a full-time staff of 13, the "community" works because of the volunteers who won't let it be anything but the best.
Why do they do it?
"It's the Cheyenne thing to do."
Jeff Rayment – Chairman
Bill Hill – Vice Chairman
Tom Hirsig – Secretary/Treasurer
Dan Cheney – CEO
Darin Westby – General Committee General Chairman
Jimmy Dean Siler
Col. Scott Fox
Kaci Malmborg is the daughter of Kody and Misty Malmborg. Kaci was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming along with her brother Kolton Malmborg. Cheyenne Frontier Days has been in her blood from a very young age; she has attended or volunteered for Cheyenne Frontier Days every year since she was born. Kaci grew up riding horses on a small ranch south of Cheyenne. With a passion for riding horses and a love for CFD, naturally she served on the CFD Dandies team from 2007-2010, serving as a leader her final year. “Dandies gave me a chance to finally be a part of the CFD I have always loved. I could never replace the people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, and the skills I’ve learned from serving on the CFD Dandies team,” Kaci says, “Dandies was an amazing, irreplaceable experience.”
Kaci graduated from Cheyenne East High School in 2010. She stayed busy by getting involved in CAN, an organization for upper classmen to serve as positive role models for elementary and Jr. High students, FFA, DECA, 4-H, State Drama, Yearbook Committee, and even managed to make Honor Role every year since kindergarten. Staying involved gave Kaci a chance to meet new people and gain experience in a variety of activities. She even competed on an FFA Agricultural Issues Team that became national champions in 2010 and won other various awards in DECA along with FFA.
Aside from school, Kaci has been a member of North Christian Church since birth and enjoys helping teach Sunday school to the 2 to 5 year olds. She also enjoys spending time snowmobiling, fourwheeling, and camping with her family.
Kaci graduated from Laramie County Community College with an associate degree in education in May 2012. Currently she attends the University of Wyoming to continue her degree in elementary and special education.
“It is such an honor to serve as a goodwill ambassador for Cheyenne Frontier Days,” says Kaci, “I have always loved Cheyenne Frontier Days. I am passionate about the rodeo that brings thousands of volunteers to come together and make happen each and every year. CFD has and will benefit our Cheyenne community with traditions that have been followed for 116 years and counting. It is humbling to be a part of such an incredible tradition. I am looking forward to have a part in the 117th Cheyenne Frontier Days."
Sara Rangitsch is the daughter of Mark and Collett Rangitsch. Sara, her parents and her two brothers Paul and Kurt had lived in Cheyenne for 19 years have lived in Cheyenne for 19 years. She started riding in the CFD parades at the age of five and her love for Frontier Days grew. She began riding horses at a young age and became a member of the dandies from 2008-2011, serving as a leader her senior year. “I watched the dandies from the first moment I went to the rodeo and it gave me an amazing opportunity to become more involved with the rodeo that already held a special place in my heart. I learned so much about myself and this rodeo,” Sara says, “I could never replace the skills I gain through being a Dandy.”
Sara graduated from Cheyenne Central High School in 2011. She was involved with National Honor Society, Junior Leadership Cheyenne, the Congressional Award, was on the track team and the state drama team. Sara loved being involved with all different aspects of high school life, as it helped her become able to relate with many different types of people.
Sara is now a junior at the University of Wyoming, studying Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice. She hopes to continue her schooling to eventually become a victim’s advocate for children in tough situations. She is active in her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, at the University and loves the support of her fellow sorority sisters.
“To be selected as Lady-In-Waiting 2014 for the Daddy of ‘Em All is a dream come true. There is nothing better than being able to say this is my community and this is what we come together to do. CFD brings together such an amazing group of people and to be able to represent Cheyenne is such a blessing. I can’t wait to show how proud I am to be from Cheyenne to everyone I meet! I am so excited to share the 118th CFD experience with everyone.”
The Dandies of the "Daddy of 'em All" serve as good will ambassadors for the world's largest outdoor rodeo celebration.
They represent Cheyenne Frontier Days at rodeos, fairs and other celebrations throughout the Rocky Mountain Region visiting a total of nine states. During the ten days of Frontier Days they will attend the Coronation Ball, the Western Art Show and Sale, the Pancake Breakfasts, and the USAF Thunderbird Aerial Demonstration. In addition, they participate in each of the four downtown parades, nine rodeo performances and eight night shows.
Diane Humphrey, director, devotes hundreds of hours developing routines, selecting clothing, supervising practices, making travel arrangements and just being there for the girls.
Clothing sponsors for the Dandies include Wrangler Shirts and jeans, Justin Boots, and Bailey Hats.
Diane Humphrey, Director
On March 29, 1936, the first adopted by-laws of the Heels of Cheyenne Frontier Days were drawn up by then Leather Heel, Ed Storey, who hand wrote the original by-laws on a sheet of 1930 Cheyenne Frontier Days letterhead.
Although they have been revised and updated through the years, the by-laws still serve as the index as to how the organization will function. The HEELS by-laws call for a governing committee of three officers, Leather Heel (President), Rubber Heel (Vice-President) and Run-Down Heel (Secretary/Treasurer). The by-laws also establish the number and term of active HEELS, specify the term of officers, requirements and status of membership, when general membership meetings will be held, eligibility for election into the organization and a process for amending the by-laws. With the escalating popularity of rodeo, western celebrations and the increased level of activity on every committee within Cheyenne Frontier Days, the HEELS' responsibilities continued to grow.
For more information, visit www.heelsofcfd.org