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There’s no news too small for the Downvalley column. Contact Pam Boyd via e-mail at; or call (970) 328-6656 ext. 4.

Miss Colorado will lend a hand at Gypsum Daze

Miss Colorado Michelle Marie is going to be lending a hand with a variety of events scheduled during Gypsum Daze.

According to her bio, Michelle Marie is a Colorado-based philanthropic leader and public figure who has devoted her life to volunteerism and mentoring young women on giving back to their communities and building self-esteem. Currently she is the President of FemCity Denver; a chapter of the international women’s organization, Femfessionals. FemCity Denver serves as a catalyst for helping professional women connect with one another, give back to the community and grow their business.

Additionally her passion for community and empathy for women’s advancement has coincided with her philanthropic and modeling background. Combining these disparate worlds created Marie’s public speaking platform for topics that various demographics can relate to, including “Body Image, How to Give Back and Goal Setting.”

She has developed a YouTube series showcasing local companies in Colorado and what makes them different and then connecting them with local non-profits to initiate a reciprocal relationship between the two. Her hope is to make a positive difference in the life of others whether it is through volunteering, spreading a message or seeing her in an ad.

In her career as a model and model coach, philanthropist and public speaker, Marie has appeared on radio, television, billboards and in print in over 10 different states for her ongoing community efforts through Femfessionals, her personal non-profit initiatives, and her ongoing business ventures.

Vote for HP’s Provisions

Eagle Ranch business HP’s Provisions has entered a contest to win advertising in Specialty Food Magazine, but it needs local support.

In order to win, HP’s must qualify by being one of the top 10 on line vote-getters. Voters may vote once daily through Sunday, July 2. To participate visit the business’s Facebook page.

Houston and Samantha Perkins have three young daughters, two of whom have Celiac Disease. Although not their initial focus, after opening a small neighborhood market and café in Eagle, the Perkins quickly found that their gluten-free offerings were the top sellers and embraced by the community.

“We’ve tried many products and mixes for gluten- free baking, but we haven’t found any that our family loves. As cooks we wanted to make all of those great recipes that kids (and adults for that matter) love, so we started experimenting,” said Houston.

After extensive experimentation and much trial and error, they formulated proprietary gluten-free flour mixes that can be substituted cup-for-cup into any conventional recipe. However, because gluten free baking is so unique, the Perkins’ realized there is not a one-size-fits-all mix that works like all-purpose flour. Therefore they developed a “Cake Flour” and a “Cookie Flour” that produce very different finished products. Six amazing baking mixes came next.

“Our gluten free flours produce baked goods virtually indistinguishable in taste, flavor, texture and consistency to conventional products,” said Houston.

Visit Facebook to help out this great local business.

Bronc riders love Big Tex and he’s headed to Eagle

The Eagle County Fair & Rodeo comes to town next week and the professionals riders are already poised to have a great time courtesy of a 13-year-old gelding named Big Tex.

The best saddle bronc riders are looking forward to the opportunity to test Big Tex beginning Wednesday, July 24, and continuing through Saturday, July 27, at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.

The field of nearly 400 contestants features many of the top bronc riders in the game, from world champions such as Cody Wright, Jesse Wright, Chad Ferley and Taos Muncy to dozens of other great cowboys.

“Big Tex has always been a great bucking horse,” said Tyler Corrington, a 2011 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Hastings, Minn. “He’s one of the few bareback horses I knew before he became a bronc, because he was just so outstanding. He’s done nothing but be awesome.”

Corrington knows as well as anyone in the game. He matched moves with Big Tex for 85 points in February to win the title in San Antonio.

“I knew ahead of time that I’d drawn pretty good, but it’s a pretty good sign when you’re sitting in the hospitality area and all your buddies are jealous of you because of what you’ve drawn,” he said.

That was definitely the case a little more than a month later when Australian Curtis Garton was matched against the big bay during the final round of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. With the help of Big Tex, Garton won ProRodeo’s national championship with an 86-point ride.

“That’s the one,” Garton said. “Coming into this rodeo, they asked me what my dream draw was, and I didn’t have to think about that: Big Tex. I just thank the Lord that it all worked out.”

In 2010, the top cowboys in the sport voted Big Tex the Bareback Horse of the Year; in 2008, he was the Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse. That year, he guided and Tilden Hooper tied the world record with a 94-point ride in Silver City, N.M. As a bareback, he bucked at the NFR four straight times, from 2007-10; he’s been in bronc riding in Las Vegas the last two Decembers.

It’s where the best in the business say he belongs. Take Wade Sundell, a four-time NFR qualifier from Boxholm, Iowa, who has finished among the top five in saddle bronc riding each of the past four seasons. He rode Big Tex for 90 points to win RodeoHouston’s Super Series this past March.

“That’s one of the coolest horses to have for $50,000,” he said. “He’s just so big and showy.”

The superlatives continue for Big Tex. At 13, he’s in the prime of his life and loves to show off his champion genetics.

“I’ll take that horse anywhere I’m at,” Sundell said. “When you get on that horse, you’re nodding your head to win first. He kicks lights out, and he bails in the air. He’s got some hang time, and that allows you really set your feet and show off your spur stroke. He’s everything you’d want in a bucking horse,” he said.

Around Town

Hayley Beard was one of 69 students across the nation to receive the Promise of Nursing Regional Scholarship. Hayley is a sophomore at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. Congratulations!

The Eagle Valley High School summer boys baseball team took second place in the Rangely Tournament last week. Congratulations and good luck as the Devils head to Buena Vista this weekend and the state tournament next weekend.

Udall’s Offices accepting intern applications

Mark Udall’s regional offices throughout Colorado and the office in Washington, D.C., are accepting internship applications from undergraduate students and recent graduates for the fall.

The internship program offers students the opportunity for public service and to learn hands-on about constituent services and the legislative process.

State interns will assist state staff as they help constituents resolve issues with federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, meet with local partners, represent the senator at community outreach events and help the office with written work product.

Interns in the Washington, D.C., office will attend committee hearings and briefings, compose memos for legislative staff, answer phones, research legislative issues, help with press outreach, lead Capitol tours and participate in congressional events.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 31. Interested students can apply at Internships are available on either a full-time or part-time basis. This is an unpaid position, although college credit may be arranged.

For more information regarding the internship program, email for the D.C. program, and for the state program.

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