Jeep Posse rounds up fun at annual barbecue fundraiser |

Jeep Posse rounds up fun at annual barbecue fundraiser

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

For 46 years, the Storey County Jeep Posse has been patrolling the rugged hills of the county, finding lost people – sometimes extracting them from old mine shafts – and aiding the sheriff’s office.

And for the same 46 years, the group’s annual fundraiser has been an old-fashioned barbecue, with steak, potatoes, beans and salad.

Throw in a no-host bar, some live music, raffles, 21 tables and lots of old friends, and the posse puts on quite a party.

“We used to have them down at American Flats, at the old mill, then when we got the ice house in the ’70s, we moved it up here,” said posse President Greg Hess.

The event, which will be Saturday at the historic ice house, raises about $4,000 for the Jeep Posse, which serves as Storey County’s search and rescue unit.

This year, like last, there will be many raffle prizes donated from local businesses, with the grand prize being a 30-30 Winchester rifle.

“It kind of buys our equipment, gas and pays for upkeep on the ice house,” Hess said.

Hess said the same day as the barbecue the group will have its golf fundraiser at Empire Ranch Golf Course.

There are no more slots available for the $80-per person tournament, which includes dinner.

The posse leases the historic ice house building from Storey County for $1 a year. Private groups can rent the facility for special events, another source of income for the Jeep Posse.

Other funding sources are donations by event organizers when the group provides transportation and communications for special events like the 100-mile Endurance Ride in September or the Virginia City Grand Prix in April.

He said this spring, when dirt-bike riders were injured in accidents during the Grand Prix, it was the Jeep Posse that got them to ambulances.

The group’s members are deputized by the sheriff’s office, Hess said, and provide assistance in law enforcement as well as doing search and rescue work. The group refitted an old weapons carrier with a boom so members can rescue people or animals from the mine shafts.

“We used to go out a lot when someone fell down a shaft and couldn’t get out,” Hess said. “Now the mines are mostly closed up. Now a lot of the time it’s lost people, or people that get stuck.”

He said occasionally a dog falls down a shaft.

“We’ve had several of those,” he said, adding that the dogs usually survive the fall.

If you go

WHAT: 46th annual Jeep Posse Barbecue

WHEN: Bar opens at 4 p.m. Saturday; dinner at 6 p.m., music at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Ice House, Toll Road, Virginia City

COST: $15; tickets sold at door

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.