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Cowboys: Here’s a chance to see their softer side

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer

It took a five-hour drive from Elko to convince Delsye Mills that she could organize and put on her own cowboy poetry show in Carson City.

It cost her $10,000 just to book the entertainment for the inaugural Cowboy Jubilee and Poetry Show. It was designed to be a fundraiser for what is now the Carson Tahoe Regional Heathcare Auxiliary.

“I had to convince the board for us to do this because it was really outside of the box for us,” Mills said.

That was in 1994 and the show has continued to grow every year since, raising money for new equipment for the regional medical center.

This year’s show is scheduled for Saturday at the Carson Community Center and will feature four performers: Wiley & the Wild West, poet Paul Zarzyski, musician Juni Fisher and Sourdough Slim.

“Sourdough is the only performer that has been here for every show. I knew I wanted him, he’s such a nice man and he really gets the crowd involved and excited in their seats,” Mills said.

After five years as a consistent fundraiser for the auxiliary, one of the performers told Mills to add a barbecue dinner to the event and generate some additional support.

“The first year we did it, we served 70 people. I went around to all these places and rounded up all the things we needed,” Mills said. “A couple of the auxiliary members’ husbands cook the meat for us. Last year they stood out in the snow and cooked the tri-tip.”

The barbecue served 700 people last year.

Mills said the event continues to be successful because the board is willing to continue to step outside the box.

“Our entertainment costs for this year are higher than the entire cost of the show last year. But we knew we needed to get some big names in here to get people excited,” Mills said. “The show has made money every year we have done it.”

The choice of entertainers also presents an interesting opportunity for the audience. Wiley & The Wild West recently put music to “Bucking Horse Moon,” a poem written by Zarzyski, and Fisher provides background vocals for the recording.

“They will each do their own show and then all three of them will be on stage at the same time,” Mills said.

The money raised will be used to purchase a treadmill, portable Doppler device, physical therapy diagnostic equipment and three scooter carts for various departments.

If You Go

What: Cowboy Jubilee and Poetry Show fundraiser

When: 4 and 8 p.m. shows on Saturday. Dinner runs 5-8 p.m.

Where: Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.

Cost: Reserved seating can be purchased in advance for $25, general seating goes on sale Saturday for $20. Barbecue dinner is available for $10.

Call: 883-1532

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.