We as a community can never truly thank the Sikeston Jaycees quite enough. These young men - many of them now third generation Jaycees - bring a spotlight on the southeast Missouri region and Sikeston in particular that puts us on the map.
Of course, the attention this week is focused clearly on the annual Bootheel Rodeo and the thousands of fans who will visit our community. The excitement this rodeo generates - not to mention the revenue it produces - is a source of pride unmatched by any other single event for Sikeston.
But though the focus is on the rodeo, the Jaycees work throughout the year to make our community a better place. And once their Jaycee years are behind them, many of these young men continue that community volunteer spirit for the remainder of their lives. How can you truly thank someone for that dedication and devotion?
The fans who come here probably will never fully appreciate the countless hours and sacrifices these young men - and women - make to assure the success of this massive undertaking. And that's exactly the way the Jaycees would want it.
The Jaycees want the attention on the rodeo itself - the cowboys, the entertainers and the family atmosphere that welcomes these fans to our community. When the dust clears, the Jaycees will then focus their attention on how best to donate their profits to the needs of our community. And you sure don't have to look too far to see their donations in action each and every day. From the hospital and the Kenny Rogers Children's Center to the YMCA and so much more, the Jaycees - through the rodeo - give generously to help grow and improve our community.
Other communities marvel at the cooperation and the professionalism that surrounds the rodeo. They envy this week-long event for bringing people to our community and for then using the profits from this event to further improve our community. And envy it they should.
Words alone are certainly not enough. But for now, we thank the Jaycees for allowing the rest of us to share in the pride that this annual event brings to Sikeston.