Over the last 71 years, some of the top cowboys and cowgirls have competed at the Jasper Lions Club Rodeo.  And, the names of music entertainers who have performed there reads like a who's who list of country music's best.  However, the run of the Jasper Lions Club Rodeo has come to an end.  

In a press release issued Monday, July 17th, representatives with the Jasper Lions Club said that the "Jasper Lions Benefit Rodeo cannot provide the resources necessary to sustain the clubs commitment to, and the ability to grow its capacity to serve the individuals, groups and projects that the Jasper Lions Club supports now and new projects and causes the club will adopt in the future."

Tex Ritter, Garth Brooks, Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson, Hank Thompson, Clint Black, Trace Adkins, Tracy Byrd, and numerous other performers have taken to the stage and will forever be etched in Jasper Rodeo history.  I still remember sitting on the bus and having a conversation with Kenny Chesney in 1995.

Many events and venues in smaller communities across the country have had to either change directions or completely shut down due to the cost-prohibitive nature of concerts these days. Due to rising costs that are now being charged by country singers and production companies, small city organizers are left with the prospect of charging extremely high dollar amounts for tickets...and that's a business model that never works.

Will another organization try to move in and continue the Jasper Rodeo run?  That remains to be seen.  Regardless, the thousands of volunteers from the Jasper Lions Club and from the Jasper community who through the years have brought a top notch rodeo to the area, are deserving of a huge tip of the hat.  Thank you for 71 years of tireless community service.

Here is the official release from the Jasper Lions Club:

Since 1947 the Jasper Lions Benefit Rodeo has provided a first class rodeo and western heritage event that has been enjoyed and supported by countless generations of east Texans and their families, local and regional businesses, stock contractors, vendors, volunteers, entertainers, the City of Jasper, Jasper County and the men and women who make their living as professional rodeo athletes.

Because of the support of these groups, individuals, and many others over the last 71 years, the Jasper Lions Club has been able to provide support, both physical and financial, to individuals and groups who are in need in our local communities and around the globe.

The Lions Club International motto is “We Serve”, and the funds raised through the Jasper Lions Benefit Rodeo have provided for the local club’s ability to fulfill its mission of serving locally and globally.

Since the completion of the 2017 Jasper Lions Benefit Rodeo, and reflecting on a multi-year trend, the Jasper Lions Club has completed an analysis of the rodeo that will be setting a new path forward for the club.

After much study, evaluation and discussion, the club has decided that the Jasper Lions Benefit Rodeo cannot provide the resources necessary to sustain the clubs commitment to, and the ability to grow its capacity to serve the individuals, groups and projects that the Jasper Lions Club supports now and new projects and causes the club will adopt in the future.

Special events like the Jasper Lions Benefit Rodeo, while they serve a community at many levels, are at their core, fundraising and awareness raising vehicles for an organization, that generate the financial resources that support the organization’s philanthropic efforts.

The decision to turn out the lights a final time on the long-standing tradition of the Jasper Lions Benefit Rodeo was a most difficult decision for the club and its members, and it was a decision not taken lightly. Rest assured it was a decision made in the best interest of ensuring that the Jasper Lions Club retains its ability to be a strong and viable community partner.

The Jasper Lions Club has already begun discussions regarding new and exciting events to bring to the community and is enthusiastic about refocusing the club’s resources of time, talent and treasure to provide quality, family-friendly activities for the people of Jasper and east Texas to enjoy.

During this season of change, the Jasper Lions Club will have a concentrated focus on member growth, and would like to extend a hand of invitation to anyone who may be interested in serving their community through the Lions Club or who would like to learn more about the purpose and mission of the Lions Club.

You may still contact the Jasper Lions Club by email at info@jasperlionsrodeo.com or by private message on their Facebook page at Jasper Lions Rodeo. Updated contact information for the club will be communicated when available.

THANK YOU Jasper, Texas for 71 memorable and remarkable years of the Jasper Lions Benefit Rodeo!

Happy Trails!

Sincerely,

Jasper Lions Club