The Texas Gay Rodeo Association inducted two Dallas chapter members and a Fort Worth chapter member into the Hall of Fame recently, according to a Jan. 3 press release from the organization.
Dan Nagel and Mark Gurrola of Dallas and Gene Fraikes of Fort Worth received the honor as recognition for their years of participation and service to TGRA.
Nagel worked as TGRA Rodeo Director or assistant at six rodeos, the press release reported. He also was the Dallas chapter board president and state representative for several years. He was a rodeo director and committee member for the International Gay Rodeo Association World Gay Rodeo Finals for three years and is currently the international chair for the event.
Nagel also is a rodeo competitor and served a term as the state contestant representative for TGRA.
Gurrola has been rodeo director and has held various rodeo committee chairs in TGRA and IGRA, including sponsorship, program and other functions. He served on chapter and state boards as secretary and Dallas representative. Gurrola is currently the IGRA Trustee from TGRA and serves on the IGRA WGRF committees.
Fraikes is a longtime member who participated in the royalty program as a title holder and chair in TGRA and IGRA. He served in several officer positions, including chapter, TGRA and IGRA executive boards as vice president. He is a rodeo competitor and judge and has been involved in the TGRA and IGRA dance competitions and bylaw committees.
Mike Lee and Eddie Taylor Houston also were inducted in the Hall of Fame posthumously. They were from Houston.
The Texas Gay Rodeo Association’s annual meeting will be held in Dallas this weekend, and while that might sound like a stuffy corporate thingamajig, the cowfolk know how to do it up right.
For example, the main meeting to discuss by-laws and such won’t be held in an office conference center or hotel hall, but inside the Rose Room at Station 4 on Sunday morning. On Saturday morning, committees will be at Sue Ellen’s Vixin Lounge. But even beyond that, there will be plenty of fun, including mixers on Friday night at the Round-Up Saloon and Sue Ellen’s, a bachelor/bachelorette auction and barbecue at the Hidden Door on Saturday night.
Another good thing about it being held here is Dallas chapter chair Dan Nagel will receive TGRA’s Founders Award, the top honor awarded by the group, for embodying the values and mission of TGRA, which has contributed more than $2.7 million to charity over the course of its existence. 2013 marks the organization’s 30th year.
Members from the five chapters — Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio — will be in town for the event, so if you see a surplus of Tom Lamas, well, you know why. Say howdy!
For Resource Center Dallas, Wednesday is the day of the holiday meal. RCD has a daily lunch program on weekdays but the Thanksgiving lunch will be elaborate and open to the public.
“It’s longer than normal because demand is increasing every year,” RCD Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell said.
McDonnell said they will not be checking client IDs and everyone is welcome. Lunch will be served in the Rainbow Room where the program normally takes place — with coffee and desert in the Color Rooms.
“We have 12 turkeys, our own cornbread dressing and other traditional sides,” he said.
TGRA is serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Round-Up Saloon on Thursday. That dinner is open to the public.
“We wanted to do something special for the community,” said TGRA President Butch Compton.
He said he contacted AIN and RCD to tell them to send their clients. About 400 people are expected at the Round-Up.
Compton said everything’s donated. On Wednesday, volunteers are picking up pieces of the meal to prepare and cook at home. He said he has 30 turkeys, nine hams, 25 pies, 100 cupcakes and lots more. Donations of food are not needed but cash donations to help defray the costs are welcome.
“We reached out to friends and family,” Compton said.
Any money that doesn’t go toward the meal, he said, would go to RCD, AIN or Legacy Counseling Center.
2 gay sports groups have 2 big weekends planned — and you’re invited
LEARN THE WAYS OF THE HORSE | This weekend kicks off the Oak lawn Tennis Association’s 33rd season, and next week the TGRA begins a new tradition: A rodeo school.
There will be no lack of action this weekend. No, this isn’t about a successful night of Grindr-ing. All the action will either go down on a court or off a horse. The Oak Lawn Tennis Association (OLTA) and the Texas Gay Rodeo Association (TGRA) kick off their respective seasons over the weekend — in big fashion.
OLTA invites the community to “Friends of Tennis,” which marks the beginning of the group’s 33rd season. Tennis enthusiasts of all levels are encouraged to come out for the three days of mingling and playing and introduction to OLTA.
A mixer at Woody’s on Saturday at 7 p.m. starts everything off, with opportunities to learn more about the association. For those itching at the bit to get on the court, play begins Sunday morning at the L.B Houston Tennis Center with the annual Promiscuous Doubles play at 9 a.m. The open court allows for all players to mix it up between various levels of experience. Lunch will be served after court time winds down.
The TGRA’s big weekend isn’t until March 2–4, with its annual Texas Tradition Rodeo in Fort Worth, but the cowboys are busy this weekend when the Rodeo Roundup hits the Hidden Door on Feb. 25, starting at 2 p.m. But it’s the following Friday when things heat up.
This is the first year the association will hold a rodeo school for competitors wanting a refresher and for anybody else interested in rodeo events. Yes, anybody.
“Competitors can work with instructors on techniques as a sort of refresher course,” rodeo director Dan Nagel says. “But if someone’s never competed and always wanted to, they can come on in too and work with a champion.”
People can take courses on junior bull riding, chute dogging, calf roping on foot and steer decorating. And they’ll be in good hands. Every instructor is an experienced rodeo athlete and likely has a few awards to his or her name. Once a class is completed, students can sign up to enter the competition.
Like any class, there are some prerequisites. For newbies wanting their inaugural ride. they must first register with the appropriate rodeo association. Locals can sign up with TGRA while out-of-towners need to apply with their area organization (most chapters are expected to be at the rodeo). A mandatory safety class is offered, too. Classes are $15 each or $50 the whole she-bang. Other than that, Nagel says the only advice is to dress accordingly.
“Wear cowboy boots, jeans and a long-sleeve shirt,” he advises. “A hat is OK to wear at school but certain events require long sleeves and a hat. If they come in without it, they’re disqualified.”
After classes are over, the events and performances begin March 3 at 9 a.m. at the Will Rogers Arena in Fort Worth. The Chris Brade
Band, the Austin Babtist Women and the Free Ho Lay Sisters provide entertainment throughout the weekend. As a nonprofit, TGRA donates proceeds from the rodeo to various charities and has donated more than $2 million to Texas agencies.
For more information, visit TGRA.org.
— Rich Lopez
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 24, 2012.
Find out tonight who’s talents and style will push them to the top as contestants vie for top honors by the Texas Gay Rodeo Association. Bedazzled gowns and tight wranglers are in store when tonight’s event gets us ready for the TGRA Rodeo in March. Yeehaw!
DEETS: Round-Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m. RoundUpSaloon.com.
Former International Mr. Leather Jeffrey Payne can add another accomplishment to his resume. The Texas Gay Rodeo Association has announced Payne as its 2012 Grand Marshal for its annual March event, A Texas Tradition Rodeo. TGRA celebrates almost 30 years of gay rodeo and the 2012 event will be held March 2–4 in Fort Worth.