• Homepage
  • Posts
  • Annual Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo Gets ‘Centennialized’

Annual Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo Gets ‘Centennialized’

Moms, dads, little cowpokes, old farmhands, and pageant queens all streamed into the Mosaic Arena Saturday. More than 7,000 people came to the annual Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo.

Wearing boots and belt buckles, the sold-out crowd weaved past the food stands that added to the festive atmosphere and discovered an organization that has been around longer than this family-friend event in its 96th year. Yes, United Way Suncoast “centennialized” the Arcadia Rodeo with a booth just to the right of the main entrance. The prime spot came courtesy of Crews Bank & Trust and the networking capabilities of United Way Suncoast vice president Amy Bott. You can trust that we’re incredibly grateful.

Tchotchkes and Cheering

Fans who flocked to see the bull riding and barrel racing also got a chance to round up books for their kids, information about United Way’s financial stability programs, bags branded with 211 and plenty of cool tchotchkes, ranging from sunglasses to lip balm to rubber bracelets. We were more than happy to give the security guards and gate attendees fans to stay cool.

   Students’ eyes grew wide when they realized they could actually take one of the books that made up the display. Of course, giving out books to promote literacy is nothing new for United Way. In 2023, we distributed more than 1,500 books in DeSoto County, and connected with more than 200 early learners to better prepare them for kindergarten.

Others took away information about our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which does free preparation for any household that annually earns $79,000 or less. VITA returned more than $300,000 to DeSoto County in 2023.

Granddaddy Of ‘Em All

United Way Suncoast senior manager Alma Ovalle, education manager Maria Castillo-Aguilar and corporate philanthropy senior manager Chrystal Mijares led the way, arriving early to set up the booth and distribute awards and awareness. Maria’s husband Tommy and Alma’s husband Yovanny also came out to lend support. Spouses were in the house.

   DeSoto County makes up an important part of United Way Suncoast’s five-county. With 65 percent of households in the county qualifying as ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) – higher than any other county in our region – we know our work holds tremendous importance. We’ll continue to reach out to the people of DeSoto, working with 25-plus partners in the county to help solve their most pressing issues of the day, just as we’ve done since our humble start in 1924.

The Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo brands itself as the “Granddaddy Of ‘Em All.” Perhaps after Saturday, United Way Suncoast will be known as the Granddaddy of Nonprofits.

Post Categories

Other news...

You can help.

United Way Suncoast brings together people and resources to tackle complex issues and drive sustainable positive change to help our community thrive.

Improve the lives of children, families and
communities today.

Smiling young girl proudly holds a book in a classroom.

Sign up to receive news and updates from United Way Suncoast.