“It’s the Cheyenne thing to do…”
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.”
The Hooey: CFD Volunteer Newsletter
Board of Directors
Vice Chairman Jeff Wallace
Secretary/Treasurer Lisa Murphy
Member Diane Shober
Member Tom Glause
Member Dan Johnson
Member Gunnar Anderson
Member Lynne Boomgaarden
Member Bill Cole
Member Rod Hottle
Member John Contos
General Committee Darin Westby
Sara Rangitsch is the 22-year-old daughter of Mark and Collett Rangitsch. Sara, her parents and her two brothers, Paul and Kurt, have lived in Cheyenne the past 21 years. In August 2011, their family grew with the birth of her nephew, Trigger. Both of her parents are volunteers; her dad is a HEEL and a part of the grounds committee, and her mom is a W-HEEL and a part of the parades committee. Sara’s brothers serve as wonderful supporters in her duties as Miss Frontier, and they are always willing to lend a hand. Her love for Frontier Days grew from when she started riding in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Parades at the age of five. Sara decided to learn how to ride horses at a young age and became a member of the CFD Dandies team from 2008-2011. She served as a Dandies team leader her senior year.
“I remember watching the Dandies from the first moment I went to a CFD rodeo. I knew I had to get involved. Dandies gave me the amazing opportunity to become more involved with the rodeo that had already held a special place in my heart. I learned so much about myself and CFD,” Sara said, “I could never replace the skills I gained through being a Dandy.”
She graduated from Cheyenne Central High School in 2011. She was involved with National Honor Society, Junior Leadership Cheyenne, the Congressional Award, and was a member of the track and the state drama teams. Sara is able to relate with different types of people because of her involvement in these various activities. She graduated from the University of Wyoming this year with a concurrent degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice. She hopes to explore all aspects of the criminal justice system and find a job she can truly find passion in. She is active in her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and loves the support of her fellow sorority sisters.
“To continue as Miss Frontier for the Daddy of ‘em All is a dream come true. There is nothing better than being able to say that Cheyenne is my community, and CFD 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 am so excited to share the 119th Cheyenne Frontier Days experience with everyone. I look forward to seeing everyone out there in July!”
Jonna Brown, Lady-In-Waiting 2015
Jonna Molloy Brown, daughter of John Brown and Matt and Cat Jankovsky, was raised in Cheyenne. Jonna fell in love with Cheyenne Frontier Days at a very young age when she began her volunteering experience as a Toe. At the age of seven, she started working at Chute 9, the Stripping Chutes, the North End, and the Cowboy Bistro. This is where her love and knowledge for rodeo began. Her passion for CFD grew each year and with a strong passion for riding horses as well, Jonna became a member of the CFD Dandies team for 4 years. Jonna also served as a member of the Contestants Committee for 2 years.
“Being a volunteer for so many years has helped me gain new friendships, skills, and amazing memories,” Jonna said, “I am truly blessed to be apart of the wonderful family of CFD volunteers!”
Jonna comes from a large extended family that has a great passion for Cheyenne Frontier Days. Her mother, Cat, currently serves on the Public Relations Committee, she is a HEEL, and was also a past Volunteer of the Year. Jonna’s Father, John, is currently an Event Sponsor. Jonna’s stepfather, Matt Jankovsky, currently serves on the General Committee as Contestants Chairman. He was also a past Volunteer of the Year and a HEEL. Her twin sister, Graclyn, and her brother, Robert, also volunteered as Toes. Graclyn is currently on the Public Relations Committee. Her sisters, Halley and Hannah, also volunteered as Toes and are members of the CFD Dandies team. Jonna said, “My family is grateful for the inspiration Cheyenne Frontier Days has brought to our lives.”
She graduated from Cheyenne East High School in 2013. Jonna was a member of the girls swim team where she served as team captain her junior and senior year, and lead the team to a state victory. She was also a member of FFA, 4-H, Saddle Tramps, and National Honor Society. She is now a sophomore at the University of Wyoming; and is continuing her degree in nursing, and she hopes to one day become a pediatric nurse.
“It is such an honor to serve as a good will ambassador for Cheyenne Frontier Days. I feel passionate about rodeo and preserving the western way of life. I am enthusiastic and excited, as well as humbled for being chosen to represent our great rodeo and all of our great volunteers. I will Ride for the Brand, and make you all proud. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you. Let’s go, let’s show, let’s rodeo!”
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. Michelle Hess joined the team as our new director in 2014, and will devote 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.
The 2015 Dandies:
Director Michelle Hess, Director’s Assistant Emily Breeden, Bailey Bishop, Lois Brennecke, Keturah Cowan, Roslan Fichtner, Caitlin Garcia, Britnee Gilmore, Maria Grogan, Lauren Hastings, Jean-Marie Hess, Hannah Jankovsky, Halley Jankovsky, Savannah Messenger, Carissa Pickard, Holly Riesland, Claire Thompson, Tyler Trissel, and Allee Williamson
The HEELS of Cheyenne Frontier Days
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.