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People That Make It Happen

2010 Grand Marshal – Bill Kile

Bill Kile - 2010 Grand Marshal

Bill Kile was born on September 10, 1931, in Chowchilla, California. His family has farmed in that area for the past 80 years. Bill graduated from Chowchilla High School in 1949 and continued his education at Modesto Junior College, majoring in Ag. Farming. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1951 and eventually became a tail gunner on an RB36. After his discharge in 1955 he went to work for Standard Oil Company at a service station in Fresno, California where, in 1957 he bought his first Chevron station. That was the beginning of his 36-year career as a Chevron dealer. When a station became available in Sonora in 1968, he made a major decision to move his family from the central valley he had always called home, to the foothill community he loved. Bill owned and operated Bill Kile’s Chevron Station on South Washington Street in downtown Sonora until his retirement in September of 1991.

Bill and Kathy married in 1971. They have a combined total of five children; Gary, Theresa, Trena, Cherie and Eric. They now have eight grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren. They make their home in a rural area outside of Jamestown and Bill still tends to a few cows and one remaining horse. He takes pleasure in working around their small ranch property.

Bill is proud to be a 36-year member of the Sonora Elks Lodge. He was also active in the Service Station Dealers Association for many years. Bill and his family were active members of the Sierra Pony Express Riders and he served as president of that riding club in 1976.

Bill was voted in as a member of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse in 1977. He served as Captain in 1986, the same year he proudly honored his mother, Ethel Kile, as the Sheriff’s Posse Mother of the Year. Bill served as chairman of the Round-Up Collection’s Committee for four years and has chaired and worked the Beer Booth Committee for the Round-Up for many years. He has worked on many projects throughout his 33-years as a posse man, as well as assisting in maintenance of the posse grounds on Rawhide Road. He rode with the posse in parades representing the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse throughout northern California. He carried the American flag for the posse in 2002, at which time he determined that he was the oldest posse member riding that day, and he was riding his 25-year-old horse which was probably the oldest horse in the parade. That was a great day!

Bill feels very honored to be chosen as the 2010 Grand Marshal of the Mother Lode Round-Up Parade and hopes everyone has a great time at this year’s Parade and Rodeo.

Rodeo Announcers – Bob Feist & Coy Huffman

Bob Fiest

Bob Feist

Anyone who follows team roping has heard of the BFI. The Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping Classic is the world’s richest team roping. Cowboys competed for over $250,000 in cash and awards at the 2006 "Open to the World" Roping. Bob Feist is the publisher of Ropers Sports News, the "Bible"” of team ropers. When time permits you’ll find him on the rodeo circuit as a rodeo announcer or on American Cowboy and Rodeo Sports Page, as well as on various television and radio shows. He announces over 150 performances each year which has included shows from Alabama to Hawaii and from Washington to Arizona. His announcing record also includes the 1980 National Finals Rodeo.

That relaxed, resonant voice coming over the mike is Feist’s stock in trade. He has been greeting people, winning public speaking awards and acting as master of ceremonies from the time he was old enough to open the front door; according to the lady who knows him best, his mother.

Combining his speaking talent and his love of the sport of rodeo, Feist now feels that he is serving the public in a way that he can best utilize his talents. He does over 90% of his shows horseback, as he feels he can better entertain the audience by being closer to them.

Coy Huffman Rodeo Announcer

Coy Huffman

Professional rodeo announcers play a major role in connecting the audience to the action. It takes a unique individual to acquaint the fans with the cowboys, the stock and rodeo itself. Coy Huffman has just the right touch to excite and to get you involved.

Coy has worked all phases of rodeo from behind the chutes to out in front earning a "Gold Card" (lifetime membership) in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

A few years ago Coy began to pursue his life long vision of being a pro-rodeo announcer. Facing many challenges in a highly competitive field, Coy worked the rodeo labor list as chute boss at Cheyenne, Salinas, Dodge City, Colorado Springs, the Cow Palace and Sonora. He took advantage of opportunities to announce or emcee autograph parties, Exceptional Rodeo, high school rodeos and other events.

Coy Huffman and his wife Donna have their headquarters in Tucson, Arizona where they manage their rodeo business and ministry. Donna is a gifted writer, office administrator, driver and trusted counselor to rodeo wives. One of Coy’s favorite sayings is, "Today is the best day of my entire life!" You are going to have a good friend by your side making every effort to help you have a great day at the rodeo. The Mother Lode Round-Up is happy to bring you the voice of Coy Huffman.

Growney Brothers Stock Contractors

Growney Brothers Stock Contractors

Growney Brothers Rodeo Company was born in 1979 when Growney purchased Rodeo Stock Contractors, Inc. and turned professional three years later. He opened eyes at the 1981 National Finals Rodeo when his bareback horse, Dreamboat Annie, teamed with Larry Peabody for an 89-point ride, an arena record that stood until 1995.

In the early days of the company, Growney did all he could to work as many rodeos as he could. He knew how to hustle. "We did all kinds of rodeos," Growney said. "We put on high school, junior and Indian rodeos. In 1982, we did 82 rodeos. We were going hard."
This year, Growney is supplying livestock to 24 rodeos that include four events on the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour and some of the most prestigious and lucrative events on the calendar.

Growney starts his year in April at the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale, Nevada and then returns home for the Red Bluff Round-Up and Clovis Rodeo. By the end of the year, he will have worn out roads leading up the Pacific coast through Oregon- hitting such spots as St. Paul, Joseph and Canby – and Washington, highlighted by rodeos in Bremerton, Walla Walla and Puyallup.

Over the years, bucking bulls have made the Growney name a force in the rodeo business. Growney gives that credit to his partner, Don Kish, who started raising bulls nearly 20 years ago.

The company inherited ProRodeo Hall of Fame bulls Red Rock and Oscar and countless others. Growney’s Wolfman, who in 1991 teamed with Wade Leslie for the only 100- point ride in rodeo history, has bloodlines to both legendary bulls. Each year, it’s another crop of athletic beasts that can produce 90-point scores for the cowboys who can manage to ride them.

"I thought he was nuts for trying it," said Growney, reminiscing about Kish’s decision to get into the bull breeding business. "We were broke all the time, but that’s what we’re known for now."

2010 Rodeo Clown – Punkintown The Rodeo Clown

Punkintown the Coppertown Rodeo Clown

Clown: Punkintown Smith – 14 years ago Punkintown Smith started his journey in the Rodeo business. He will tell you he has been "rode hard and been put up wet" but there is nothing he would rather be doing than making people laugh from his stage, the rodeo arena.

Punkintown combines clean hometown humor with stories that the young and old can relate to. This has made him a favorite as a conference and motivational speaker and of course rodeos nationwide. His various talents make him more than a clown, he is a rodeo entertainer. "Laughter does good like a medicine," says Punkintown, "and I want everyone to get a good dose."