Isa Rodeo Queens on a quest for charity

There’s no doubt this year’s three Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo Queen Quest entrants have a lot of heart for their local community and chosen charities.

Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo Manager Natalie Flecker paid tribute to the entrants – Renaee Gattera, representing North West Queensland Mental Health Network; Chelsea Beckmann (Ronald McDonald House); and Sarah Brisbane (Paws, Hoofs and Claws Inc).

She said the entrants were still hard at work fundraising in the final weeks leading up to rodeo’s night of nights, the Bell & Moir Toyota Rodeo Ball where the Rodeo Queen and Charity Queen will be crowned on Saturday, August 6.

“The entrants this year have been working very hard to raise much needed funds and awareness for their charities,” said Ms Flecker. “They have also held some very unique and creative events that have not been held in previous years – so they are each bringing their own sense of style and innovation to the competition.

“This year we are lucky enough to be working with two new charities in Ronald McDonald House and North West Mental Health whilst still supporting one of our favourites in Paws, Hoofs and Claws Inc.”

Entrant Renaee Gattera, 27, made the move out west from her hometown of Bundaberg six years ago to advance her career in the community welfare sector. She works as an outreach wellbeing mentor for Anglicare North Queensland, a non-clinical Mental Health Service.

“Rodeo is my favourite time of year,” said Ms Gattera. “I love to sit back and watch the thrills and the spills, the raw talent of all competitors – it’s about bringing people together and being apart of a connected community and welcoming new faces. The junior barrel racing by far takes my heart.”

Ms Gattera said she chose the North West Queensland Mental Health Network to raise awareness that good mental health is everybody’s business. “It’s time to stamp out stigma and stand up for one another, so this was the perfect opportunity through the quest and raising much needed light on mental health. Social and emotional issues can affect anyone at any given point in life and it’s an honour to the have opportunity to raise funds for a much needed break through in mental health.”

Entrant Chelsea Beckmann, who is originally from Mackay, moved to Mount Isa for a career opportunity in January, 2015. Chelsea, 22, is currently working full time through the accounting graduate program with Glencore and studying towards her CPA.

The 2015 Isa Rodeo was Chelsea’s first and she loved it. “Not only was the competition amazing to watch, I was able to make new mates and catch up with friends and family who made the journey out here,” she said. “Rodeo time from the street fair, Mardi Gras, shop fronts decorating their windows for example, just show how much rodeo means to this community.”

Ms Beckmann said she was inspired to enter the quest by her four year old cousin, Mimi, who was diagnosed with Cerebal Palsy. “It made me think if she has to travel from Bundaberg to Melbourne and Sydney for intensive therapy, what about the kids out west who have to travel for treatment, tests, and emergency operations. The RHMNQ (Ronald McDonald House) is such a vital asset to the North West to help these seriously ill children… I want to help the Mimi’s of Mount Isa.”

The third entrant, Sarah Brisbane, 25, is a born and bred Mount Isan. She spent six years in Brisbane undertaking her university qualifications, a Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety before returning to Mount Isa to work as a safety advisor for Glencore Copper.

“Growing up in Mount Isa, I loved rodeo – it was my absolute favourite time of the year,” said Ms Brisbane. “When I lived away from Mount Isa, I came back for rodeo every year – it cost my parents and I an absolute fortune,” she laughed. “I used to see the Rodeo Queens at rodeo as a young girl, but as I grew up I learned more about their role.”

Sarah has a rescue dog and said Paws, Hoofs and Claws was her first choice as an animal lover.

Ms Flecker also acknowledged Worn Out West and Hitchley & Harrow for their support by providing clothing for the entrants. “We are very grateful for the ongoing support of all our sponsors, and Bell & Moir Toyota have been long time sponsors of the Rodeo Ball where the Queens are crowned,” she said.

The Isa Rodeo Queen Quest is an annual competition to raise funds for local charities and discover ambassadors for the Isa Rodeo.

Queen Quest hopefuls work hard fundraising throughout the year with the help of the Mount Isa community as they prepare for the Rodeo Ball and Queen Crowning. Last year’s entrants in the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo Queen Quest collectively raised $96,157.85 for local charities.

The Queen Quest has seen dozens of women and one man raise many hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities over its long history.

Mount Isa’s three days of rodeo competition, including bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, roping, ladies barrel racing and breakaway roping kicks off on Friday, August 12.  A record $230,000 in prizes (cash and buckles) is up for grabs at the three-day event which runs until August 14.

For more information visit www.isarodeo.com.au or phone (07) 4743 2706.  Follow us on www.facebook.com/isarodeowww.twitter.com/isarodeo and www.youtube.com/mountisarotaryrodeo

To register for the 2017 Queen Quest, please contact the Isa Rodeo office, email: admin@isarodeo.com.au.


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Susan Fuller, Synergy Marketing & Public Relations

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