After reading the letter to the editor titled "Bad Example," (EO, Dec. 18, 2007) I felt compelled to respond. But first, I would like to congratulate the ladies selected to the 2008 Pendleton Round-Up Court.
The Pendleton Round-Up is a regional, if not international, event that would not be possible without the help of volunteers that come from far and wide. I personally know Round-Up volunteers that come from Athena, Walla Walla, Adams, Long Creek, Hermiston and even Portland. So the idea the Round-Up Board of Directors should be limited to choose court applicants that live within the city limits of Pendleton is absurd.
In my opinion, Pendleton is the hub of Umatilla County. I graduated from Weston-McEwen High School in Athena, but feel a strong sense of belonging and community with Pendleton. I've missed two Round-Ups in my life and I know at least two of the non-Pendleton natives selected to the court probably have never missed a Round-Up in their lives.
Serving on the court is an honor that should require attributes that include more than the appropriate address. In fact, it is my understanding there have been years when as few as one Pendleton application was submitted for admission to the Round-Up Court.
In reference to Butch Thurman's comments about the young ladies representing "us" well, I believe he refers to the Pendleton Round-Up as an organization of dedicated people from around this region of the country who make this unique and internationally-known event the event it is, and he is rightly not just referring to Pendletonians.
I hope this gives you another perspective to consider. The Round-Up is a vital event to this entire region and I wish the very best for the Round-Up Board of Directors, Court and the countless volunteers this holiday season.