Volunteer Appreciation Month 2021
When a small group of local cattle ranchers and their wives gathered for a friendly cookout in 1940, little did they know they would soon create a legacy of volunteerism that would span generations of family members and continues to this day.
Coming together over their love of horsemanship, the group formed the Silver Spurs Riding Club, performing in parades and at state conventions as a way to fundraise for local nonprofits or charities. From this group came the idea to put on rodeos. They built an arena in 1944, and volunteers collected the admission fee – the purchase of a war bond. Some of the members also competed in the rodeo. Others performed a square dance on horseback in the arena, which became known as the Silver Spurs Quadrille.
The success of the rodeo led to the need for a larger facility, so once again in 1950, the members came together to help build a more permanent arena and stadium on 15 acres of land purchased on Highway 441 between Kissimmee and St. Cloud. They volunteered many hours of labor, donated materials, and worked on rodeo event days either in the concession stands, ticket booths, arena or chutes area and parking lot. The rodeos eventually became three-day events, meaning many long hours and days of hard work, all in the name of volunteerism.
Today the Silver Spurs members continue to put on rodeos in a state-of-the-art indoor facility with the work still done by its club members, families and volunteers. And yes, the square dance on horseback is still being performed with some of the performers being grandchildren of those early quadrille riders.
Written by Anza Bast
Sources: “Orlando Sentinel” June 18, 1950; Silver Spurs website