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Merced Boosters and Merced College Foundation Offer Evening of Good Grub, Cowboy Poetry and Belly Laughs

September 17, 2003

The Wild West was tamed through the tenacity of courageous settlers and the community of Merced is living proof of the resolve and determination of our ancestors to create a better life for themselves and their descendants. This tenacity was proven again by members of our community in their steadfast pursuit to establish a University of California institution in Merced. This community never gave up and UC Merced will soon be a reality for the students of this area.

Along with this reality, now comes the question of how will parents be able to afford to send their kids to a UC? Well, the people of Merced have not forgotten their roots and the Cavalry has arrived! Students at Merced College have now been given a gold nugget to achieve their goals of higher education -- and the Merced Boosters and Merced College Foundation have their swords drawn and are leading the charge to ensure that our kids--our future leaders-- strike the mother lode of their success.

Through the generosity of a $125,000 scholarship endowment by the UC Merced Committee and the Merced Community Scholarship Association, students attending Merced College will now have the financial aid available to send them to UC Merced. The Merced College Foundation plans to match these funds to create a $250,000 endowment that will meet the needs of all future students transferring to UC Merced.

On October 9, the Merced Boosters and Merced College Foundation will circle the wagons and host a down-home cowboy steak dinner with all the fixin’s for its first annual Dollars For Scholars Fundraising Dinner. Best of all, world-renowned Cowboy Poet Pat Richardson will entertain cowpokes with his unique style of cowboy poetry, stories, and outright lies! The evening is guaranteed to be one of good grub, belly laughs, and recollection of the ghosts of cowboys past.

For those uninitiated in the culture of cowboy poetry, Richardson is one of the best. He is a multi-talented individual whose knowledge of the cowboy and the ways of the west come firsthand from a lifetime of ranching, rodeo competition, and horse training. It was not until 1995 that Richardson first entered the public eye with his cowboy poetry, but has fast become one of America’s most popular entertainers.

In 1999, Richardson won the Cedar City, Utah Cowboy Poetry contest against 78 other poets from Canada, Australia, and the United States. The next year, he was the invited poet to entertain the Old Timers Reunion at the National Finals Rodeo, and was also invited to perform at the Lincoln Center in New York.

Richardson recently completed a book of his poetry and original artwork titled Pat Richardson Unhobbled. He received the prestigious Academy of Western Artists “Cowboy Poet of the Year Will Rogers Award for 2003” at their convention in Fort Worth, Texas; and his CD B.Y.O.S (Bring Your Own Sheep) was runner up for “Western CD/Album of the Year.”

The Merced College Foundation dinner will be held October 9 at the Merced County Fairground Pavilion, with social hour beginning at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $150 per couple which includes dinner, desert, two bottles of wine per table and automatic entry into the $1500 Vacation Package grand prize give-away. Rustle up some friends and enjoy a full evening of good ole-fashion fun!

For tickets and more information, call the Merced College Foundation at 381-6470 or visit the Foundation office on campus. Corporate sponsorships are available, so if you’re looking to sear your brand with the College, please call. Our kids are counting on us!

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