Several students from the Columbus, Weimar and Rice Consolidated school districts who have worked all year to make it to the green shavings of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo were caught with feed buckets in hand when they were informed Wednesday, Mar. 11 that this year’s event would be cancelled abruptly due to the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Participants like Lauren Dvorak with the Columbus FFA, showing off her goats, Emma and Ty Rerich with the Weimar Junior FFA brooding over their chickens and Michael Hoelscher of Rice Consolidated FFA with his potentially prize - winning hog are seeking ways to make lemonade out of lemons. Hoelscher, who is the Rice CISD FFA Chapter President and Area President of FFA says, “FFA, through the Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), provides valuable life lessons - including hardships in life, and unfortunately we are in one now.” Hoelscher, a senior this year, was looking forward to the financial rewards of selling his hog at the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show.
Hoelscher estimates that he lost $2,500 on the low side, due to the coronavirus pandemic. He has been showing since the fourth grade, and this was to be his final year showing before he continued to Texas A&M to major in Biomedical Science.
He plans to become a flight nurse working emergency and life threatening situations.
Josh Chollett, Ag teacher of the Rice Consolidated FFA, has coordinated with the fellow county Ag teachers at Columbus and Weimar to seek a solution to hopefully ease the dilemma local students are currently facing. A Facebook page has been established so people can make donations or buy an animal from the affected students. Chollett says to contact him at jchollett@ riceraiders.net, and he can answer your questions and link you to the Facebook page specifically for local FFA students.
HLSR statement on scholarships
In an interview last week, HLSR President and CEO Joel Cowley stated, ”We had a commitment in 2020 to give out $14.2 million in scholarships, those are safe. We were going to award over $3 million in educational grants, those are safe. Well over $600,000 in graduate assistcance-ships to 11 different Texas colleges and universities, those are safe. $8.3 million to our exhibitors, and certainly the competitions that had completed ... those young people will receive their premium. ... The challenging part now is how to award young people for shows that did not occur ... but our committees that oversee those areas are keenly interested in rewarding those young people somehow. We’re just not sure how we’ll do it yet at this point.”
HLSR ticket refunds
In a statement on their official website, HLSR announced the following options for ticket holders: In response to many inquiries asking how to support the Rodeo during this time, we have added a donation option. Your donation will support the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in mitigating the burden caused by closing the Rodeo.
2020 Season Ticket Holders
1-Donate the balance of your 2020 Season Tickets to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. (An acknowledgement of your donation will be provided.)
2-Rollover the balance of your 2020 Season Ticket purchase for the March 11 – 22 performances to your 2021 Season Ticket purchase. If you choose this option, there is no action needed on your part.
3- Request a refund of the balance of your 2020 Season Tickets. (Refunds will be completed by April 30, 2020.)
Please select your option on how to handle the balance of your 2020 Season Tickets by April 3, 2020. If you do not respond by April 3, your balance will automatically rollover to your 2021 Season Ticket purchase.
2020 Individual Ticket Purchasers
1- Donate the cost of your 2020 tickets to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. (An acknowledgement of your donation will be provided.)
2-Request a refund of the cost of your 2020 Season Tickets. (Refunds will be completed by April 30, 2020.)
If you purchased resale tickets through RODEO-HOUSTON, refunds will be automatically processed by April 30, 2020.
If you purchased tickets through a secondary ticket provider, such as VividSeats , StubHub, Seat Geek or Ticketmaster, please contact those sites directly for refund information.
Please select your option on how to handle the balance of your 2020 tickets by April 3, 2020. If you do not respond by April 3, HLSR will automatically refund your ticket purchases.
2020 Carnival Ticket, Food Card Purchasers
1-Unused Carnival Tickets, Half-Price Carnival Packs and Food Cards may be used during the 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. No action required on your part with this option. Your tickets will remain on your account.
2-Unused Tickets and Half-Price Carnival Packs may be refunded.
Additional information regarding Carnival Ticket, Half-Price Carnival Pack and Food Card refunds will be available next week.
A list of 2020 vendors has been compiled so you can contact them or visit their stores online. Find all of this online at Rodeohouston.com/2020.