By Eraina Hooyer
History, rodeo and a renowned community member were celebrated at this year’s Ponoka Stampede.
Laura Wierzba, an active volunteer in the community and a longtime rodeo fan, was this year’s Ponoka Stampede honourary president and fully represented the brilliance of rodeo.
Wierzba was presented with the honour on her 90th birthday and has enjoyed being a part of the stampede and watching the events.
Wierzba was pleased that she was be able to dedicate this honour to her parents and family and help bring out the stampede’s rich and vibrant history.
“I just really felt honoured and appreciative to those on the board for thinking about me,” she said. “I am proud of my family heritage and I did this in memory of my dad.”
Wierzba was part of the parade sharing a buggy with MP Blaine Calkins, attended dinners and also had the honour of watching rodeo events from the VIP boxes.
“I really enjoy the chuckwagons,” she said. “I knew Tom Dorchester since I was a kid so I’ve been pretty partial to the Dorchesters, they’re the ones that I usually pull for.”
Along with the chuckwagon races Wierzba was also impressed with the outcome of the saddle bronc event.
“Rod Hay was tremendous,” she said. “With watching the rodeo you begin to develop some favourites.”
“It’s been great, I really enjoyed it. I’ve been enjoying every year since I’ve been a kid,” said Wierzba.
Wierzba has a strong family history with rodeo and the stampede and was able to exemplify that history with being honourary president.
Wierzba’s father, Lawrence Doren was actively involved with the Stampede and had a passion for rodeo. Doren, himself, was nominated twice for the honourary president but the year he was to scheduled to receive the honour he became sick and passed away.
Wierzba is an outstanding member of the Ponoka community and continues to be an advocate and a positive leading example in the town.