Neighbors, Food and Fun!
We had an awesome time at the Welcome Home Ranch BBQ on Monday, May 20, 2013. Neighbors, city officials, board members, students, and friends all enjoyed an evening of good food, mingling, bounce houses, pony and train rides, western entertainment, and a little line dancing. Ryno’s BBQ provided mouth-watering smoked chicken and pork, and Basha’s provided hot dogs, salads, chips, cookies and delicious apple and cherry pies. The Nicolaus family graciously donated the bounce houses and train ride.
John Volken and the Life Skills Academy Students
John Volken, founder of the John Volken Foundation and the Welcome Home Life Skills Academy was visiting with his beautiful wife, Chawna. They both live in Vancouver, Canada but visit the Welcome Home Ranch on a monthly basis to meet with board members and spend time with the students in the Welcome Home Life Skills Academy. Six students, and their program director, Josh Smith, currently live and work on the ranch for a minimum of two years as part of their personal development and life skills program.
Welcome Home Ranch board president, Don Stapley, and vice president, Carson Brown, spoke to the audience about the Welcome Home Ranch and the Welcome Home Life Skills Academy. John Volken shared a few inspiring words about why he initially founded the academy and introduced the six students currently in the program.
Big Announcement from Gilbert Promotional Corporation
Ed Musgraves, Gilbert Promotional Corporation President, gave the big announcement…Gilbert Days Rodeo 2013 will be held at Welcome Home Ranch! The Gilbert Rodeo Park (previous home of the GPC and Gilbert Days Rodeo) was shut down two years ago. Last year the Gilbert Days Rodeo was held in Mesa. Thanks to Welcome Home Ranch, the Gilbert Days Rodeo can return to Gilbert this November!
Cowgirls Historical Foundation
The Cowgirls Historical Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicating to preserving western heritage and the equestrian way of life, performed a beautiful drill in the arena. The drill was dedicated to the victims and heroes of the Boston Marathon bombing. The drill features a marathon runner who is escorted and surrounded by riders representing freedom and courage. The American flag was brought in at the end symbolizing the American spirit by Brittney Truman. This was Brittney’s first appearance as Miss Rodeo Arizona. The audience rose to their feet while the National Anthem was sung by Amber Varvel, a Chandler resident.
Additional members of the Cowgirls Historical Foundation were in attendance wearing beautiful, vintage rhinestone outfits. The CHF cowgirls greeted guests, collected guest information cards, and helped lead the line dancing.
Nicole Bonilla, Cowgirls Historical Foundation president and Welcome Home Ranch board member also greeted the audience, made announcements throughout the evening, and led everyone in line-dancing. Nicole was the coordinator of the Welcome Home Ranch BBQ and designed all the marketing and promotional materials via her company, Bonilla Design & Advertising.
Special Thanks to:
Trey Basha and Bashas’ Grocery Store
Ryan Nickle and Ryno’s BBQ
Cowgirls Historical Foundation
The Nicolaus Family (bounce houses & equipment)
Joe & Kylie Mangum (tables & chairs) of Royalty Rentals
Rod & Sandy Owens, Tierra Farms (facility prep)
Micah & Stefanie Nickolaisen (SweetMugz Photography)
Darnell Riggs (stage)
Bob Lawrence (sound system)
Mark Harper (food)
Haley Miller (dessert)
Rob Wahlin (light tower)