‘We are all here for the kids’
The Wilson County News has been proud and pleased to bring you this series, “A Year of Giving,” shining a light throughout 2011 on organizations that work in our communities to do good and help others. We began our year with “Kash for Kids,” an organization that works in Wilson County to support youth livestock show participants. As we close 2011, we again are in the livestock show season, and it’s fitting that we close our “Year of Giving” with the volunteers who make another youth livestock show a reality.
“I was in 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) in high school and also participated in a calf scramble and was very interested in working with the kids, since I had been a part of this in high school,” recalled Nadine Berger of La Vernia recently. She serves on the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo’s Calf Scramble Committee. “When Jeff and I met, he wanted to join and volunteer in an organization that was associated with agriculture.”
Nadine has volunteered on the committee for 17 years. Her husband, Jeff, joined her and has served for 14 years now. Both remain dedicated to this effort to help kids participate in one of the largest stock shows in Texas.
Jeff is the captain of their team; Nadine is the co-captain.
“The Calf Scramble is divided in seven teams and each team has a captain and co-captain to lead the team,” Nadine explained. “We work with our team to raise money for scholarships and funding for the children who catch a calf during the calf scramble rodeo performance in order for them to earn a certificate to purchase an animal to show at the next year’s livestock show in San Antonio.
“Each team is responsible for the children/calf scramblers during a performance and also act as judges in the arena during the calf scramble,” she added.
The Calf Scramble Committee hosts an annual clay-shoot fund-raiser, called “Boot-N-Shoot,” held each August at the National Shooting Complex off Culebra Road and Loop 1604 in San Antonio. This includes a clay shoot with dinner, silent auction, live auction, and live music. The event helps the committee raise money in addition to annual cash donations for scholarships and certificates.
“Our committee is responsible for raising over $250,000 per year,” Nadine said.
Participation means many hours of dedication to organizing the fund-raiser, planning the stock show and calf scramble, and finalizing details. It means time away from
the volunteers’ own families
Why would they devote themselves to this?
“There have been so many wonderful experiences, but one of the best experiences is after each show when you see the excitement in the children’s eyes when they have been successful in catching a calf during the performance,” Nadine said. “Also, when you receive correspondence from a child who is raising an animal for the upcoming show, they are so excited to tell you about what they are doing with their animals in preparation for the upcoming stock shows.”
The Calf Scramble is but one of 41 working committees of volunteers who make the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo the award-winning event that it is.
“[The] San Antonio Livestock Show has over 5,000 hardworking and loyal
volunteers ...,” Nadine said. “... there are many folks from Wilson County that are
volunteers, not just on our committee but on other committees.”
The Bergers find their reward in “helping and working with the children to support them in their future endeavors in agriculture,” Nadine said. They are quick to recommend volunteering with the show to anyone who’s interested. And they stress that they do what they do for the youth.
“We just want to state that everything we do is a team effort and our Calf Scramble committee is run by a great group of volunteers and it takes all of us to make this a successful event,” Nadine said. “Our committee motto is, ‘We are all here for the kids.’ It’s not about the volunteers.”