Meet One of the Faces of RodeoHouston
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 3/2/2018, 6:47 a.m.
Going to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) had become an annual tradition for Jamila Lloyd. The New Jersey native loves any occasion where she gets to dress up and donning cowboys’ boots with a hat to match was just her thing. Throw in some good Texas BBQ and Lloyd was sold. While she was partying with her boots on, Lloyd learned of the many volunteer opportunities the rodeo offered and just had to apply. “I wanted to join because I love the mission and the overall objective, which is to provide scholarships to deserving students,” she said.
Improving the lives of youth through the advancement of education while making an invaluable impression on the livestock and entertainment industries has been the purpose of the HLSR since the very beginning. All the moving parts that it takes to keep an operation like this going for this length of time are endless. One of the most important are the many, many volunteers. Organizers of RodeoHouston honor the more than 33,000 volunteers with this year’s theme, the “Spirit of the Volunteer.” Annually, volunteers commit to over 2.1 million hours of their time, talent and money to the rodeo and its mission. And Lloyd is proud to be one of the many this year.
After looking over the 108 committees of the rodeo, Lloyd decided to join the Wine Garden Committee, a perfect fit if you know her personality. Serving wine is just part of what the members of this committee do. “Typically Wine Garden volunteers greet customers, educate them about wine, give wine suggestions (if asked), and serve wine, water, cheese and charcuterie trays,” said Lloyd. The Wine Garden Committee is responsible for hosting and managing the operation of the Wine Garden during the run of the show according to the HLSR website. Members also must attend all meetings led by Wine Garden Committee Chairman John McAleer, volunteer training, work the Best Bites competition, and work 40 hours during the rodeo.
Though the rodeo is just getting started, Lloyd is having a fabulous time as a rookie committee volunteer. Oftentimes viewing another dimension of something gives a person a greater appreciation for everything involved and Lloyd is no different. “I absolutely love it (the rodeo) more now that I see what goes on behind the scenes,” stated an excited Lloyd. “I’ve met some wonderful people and have gained lifelong friends.”
It is easy to apply to be one of the many that help power the rodeo. Potential volunteers just need to pay $50 to become a rodeo member and then the associated fee for the committee that they want to join. Committees cover a wide range of interests. Additional requirements may be needed depending on the committee that one joins. As a member of the Wine Garden Committee, Lloyd was required to also obtain a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission license to serve wine.
The trail riders have arrived. Ranchers have secured their cattle. Cowboys have dusted off their boots. And the volunteers are ready to welcome the crowds to one of Houston’s greatest traditions. We’re rodeo ready folks. So c’mon yall and join the fun. Visit rodeohouston.com for tickets and more information.