Growing up in a small rural community volunteering was something that always seemed to stay a priority in my life. A lot of this I think came from watching my mom stay so involved with many different organizations, committees and what not and I think a partial bit came from being involved in 4-H from a young age all the way into being an adult. We always made time to volunteer here an there and do what we could to make a difference.
But one thing I can always remember is that doing good things for people always made me feel good. I always got such joy from trying to make a difference in our small community. I know how much work goes into different events and that a lot of time these events are put on by volunteers who go unpaid and often without thanks for their hard work and commitment. You might remember that a few months ago I shared a post on the power of a hand written thank you note and now I want to share a little bit about a project I recently worked on with an amazing group of women that will forever make me grateful for being raised volunteering.
Doing good feels good!
When I’m talking about doing good things, I’m talking about doing something that you won’t get any return on, something that has nothing in it for you, something that you happen to be passionate about progressing and something you want to see grow and make a difference. Being selfless, being kind and being humble.
Unfortunately in our world today kindness and selflessness aren’t common character traits. We have become all too often focused on “WIFM” or What’s In it For Me. I know I myself am guilty of thinking this way at times. Thinking why would I pitch in for that, why would I help with that, what’s the point no one will notice anyway. But that’s not the point. I pitch in because it’s helping someone else out, I help because it’s needed to make events and project successful and it’s not about being noticed! I have to remind myself of this sometimes when I get the attitude of “WIFM”. I have to remember that I can make a difference even if it’s just a small one anything I do will make a difference!
The Big Project!
Just over a year ago I had this idea! I was so excited about it! I ran it past the people in charge of the program and they gave the ok while being included in the design process. Awesome! Now it was time to design and get the funds needed!
In 2017 I started a project to help out the Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo Queen Pageant. I held the title in 2015 and it was one of the best years of my life! The friends you meet, the memories you make, the moments you cherish all can happen in just one year as a rodeo queen and that year for me was by far one of the best! I still have times when I reminisce on the weekends spent with my rodeo family and the times we had and all of the innocent shenanigans we could get into. It was definitely a year to remember and it opened up a lot of doors for me in ways I didn’t think would be possible!
So this project was started to help out a program that had really done so much for me and 10 other young women. I wanted to give back and to help change the next girls life just as mine had been changed from my year. The program was entering it’s 10th year in 2017 and has continued to grow exponentially. I had watched it grow for years prior to trying out and I want to see it continue on to be one of the best options for aspiring young women to represent the sport of rodeo and their hometown.
After 10 years the perpetual chaps that the queens have worn throughout their year were starting to look tired and weathered.
Now I am the first to say that this photo isn’t the best but it gives you a general idea of what these looked like. Tired and weathered yes but still in pretty good shape even for being used for 10 straight summers.
It was time for a change and an upgrade! I reached out to the 10 other young ladies to hold the title and with a years time and reminding we got the money we needed for the beautiful chaps we had designed.
The Story Behind the Design
The city of Spokane is famous for many things but one thing in particular is the nickname it carries “The Lilac City” for the beautiful lilacs that bloom each May. The stunning purple and white colors transform our city when they are in bloom and these colors are ones many MSIR queen’s have used over the years. So I couldn’t think of a more perfect color combination to bring into this new design even paying homage to the old pair that would be retired. Next with the help of the creative genius of the amazing woman constructing these beautiful works of art we added 3D lilac’s to stand out even more in a way that would be totally recognizable and unique to MSIR.
The other awesome feature we had for this pair of chaps was a back belt that is made to be interchangeable. This was an important detail to me so that each lady from here on out not only had a pair of chaps that fit them but also a keepsake from their year that they will take with them for years to come! This back belt can be designed to each young ladies liking but could include their name and the year they served as Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo Queen. There is also a perpetual back belt that reads Miss Spokane Interstate Rodeo Queen for the in between times when the young ladies are getting their personal belt made for the chaps each year!
What makes these even more special is the attention to detail that Prairie Leather Designs took to make these chaps not only one of a kind but a stand out set. She added set stones to each of the lilac flowers and along the leg of the chaps. She also added in some small detail green stones to the leaves that are placed next to the lilacs. Its the fine details like these that makes these chaps all that much more special.
So I know by now the suspense has to be killing you on what these beautiful babies look like!
Without further ado:
Each time I look at these I am just so impressed with how beautiful they are! I remember when I first saw them in person I held back tears. I was overwhelmed by the stunning details and the care and hard work put into a one of a kind pair of chaps that will be well used, well loved and our ladies will be well noticed in!
And your probably wondering who the lucky lady that gets to wear them in their debut this year in 2018?
Meet Mary Jane Lowry!
Pictured Left to Right: Jamie (Cutshall) Clark, Myself, Mary Jane Lowry and Katherine Merck.
She is humble, kind and has a heart for service! I couldn’t think of any one better to wear these chaps in their first year and I am excited to watch her year unfold!
This photo is three of the 5 contributors to this amazing project and I am so beyond thankful for the amazing women who not only helped with this project but who jumped at the opportunity to help out a growing program.
Special thank you to the 4 ladies that joined me in the journey and project:
MSIR 2010 : Emily (Houger) Dingman
MSIR 2011 : Jamie (Cutshall) Clark
MSIR 2013: Macy LaValley
MSIR 2014: Katherine Merck
I can’t explain how incredible each of these ladies are and how they made their year impactful to everyone around them! Their generosity is helping this program continue to be one of the best! I can’t say thank you enough to them!
This post is coming finished just in time for the coronation fundraiser this Saturday that will help Mary Jane with expenses during her year!
Doing Good Feels Good!
Thank you for stopping by and keep an eye for what might be up around the curve!