We may not be the only ones to notice it nor the first ones to mention it, but Crook County proves time and time again how generous it can be when needs of its citizens arise.
This generosity was most recently displayed this past weekend during the Prineville Follies, when organizers Heather Fraser and Renee Moss took the stage after the first round of acts to auction off items to benefit local scholarships. People were invited to bid on two different quilts, a custom-made cowboy hat, and two handcrafted rifle slings.
One person in the audience not only bid more than $400 for one of the quilts, they decided to double the donation and pay more than $800 for the two of them. Not to be outdone, another attendee across the room entered a bid north of $800 for the custom-made hat.
While these are impressive examples, they are merely the latest in long line of impressive fundraising efforts during the past three months. Looking back into early December, the Hospice Christmas Auction once again eclipsed the six-figure mark, bringing in around $100,000 — a staggering amount. Some individual trees sold for several thousand dollars.
That amount of money is pretty substantial for a county of about 20,000 people, and it would be understandable if that type of generosity emerged just once a year. But that's not what happened. Instead, just three months later, locals packed two different venues on back-to-back evenings. An event to benefit two local stabbing victims brought in $25,000 while another event to cover medical expenses for two teens involved in a bad vehicle crash raised upwards of $80,000.
The word "community" is often tossed around as a simile for a county or a town, but if you really stop to consider its true meaning, this generosity provides the perfect example. A community is comprised of people who take care of each other and make personal sacrifices for their fellow neighbors. Crook County residents have proven time and again that they are indeed a community.
Wrestling team half point short, but still showed depth and power
A half point. That's all the separated the Crook County Cowboys' wrestling team from winning its fifth straight state title. That's tough.
Unlike the other seasons of the four-year run, this year's team didn't have a stable of juniors and seniors who were near-locks to reach their weight class finals. Instead, the squad was comprised of mostly still-raw underclassman. But the depth and power of the program was evident by it sending 17 wrestlers to the state tournament, more than any other school.
While senior Cade Woodward was the Cowboys' only state champ, and freshman Hunter Mode its only runner-up, the program's depth nearly scratched out enough points to maintain the team title.
Projected to take as low as fifth heading into the tourney, coming just a half point from winning it all was a major accomplishment — and a great lesson in how razor-thin the edge between winning and coming up just short can be.
A half point — something tells us that the half point will be fuel to fire the engine of Cowboy wrestling next year and beyond.