High school and corporate welding teams from across north Texas are preparing for Grayson College’s Third Annual Welding Rodeo scheduled for May 10 at the GC Main Campus. The community is invited to watch the sculptures being created and then purchase their favorite one in the afternoon live auction.
Welding teams have been sketching and planning their entry around the theme “Planet Earth”, but will have to pick through the scrap metal available the day of the competition to create their sculpture. Funded a second year by the National Endowment for the Arts, the college is able to host this event with generous support from local businesses and industries, and significant manpower provided by the college’s Welding Technology Association.
Targeting career tech welding students, ages 16-18, the GC Welding Rodeo allows students to showcase their unique welding skills and encourages them to seek post-secondary skills development. “There is a significant need for trained and employable welders in the Texoma region,” said Greg Beckley, director of Welding Technology at GC. “Area industries have expressed an enthusiastic desire to sponsor and participate in this event to promote awareness of these opportunities to future employees.”
The 2013 Welding Rodeo’s theme was announced during a special preparatory design and art show event in December that included art and welding instruction as well as a recognized artist’s exhibition of metal sculpture. More than 100 students attended the preparatory design and art show on the college’s Main Campus. The team and individual competitions will begin at 8:00 a.m. and team judging will begin at 4:00 p.m. The live auction will be held immediately following the announcement of winners.
Following completion of the preparatory event in December, students have had several months to work on their designs for the 2013 Welding Rodeo. The one-day competition offers both team and individual creations. Scholarship awards will be presented to the first-, second- and third-place winners. Proceeds from the event’s auction of their sculpted designs will benefit he welding scholarship fund for future events.
“Input from a planning committee of college faculty, industrial sponsors, high school instructors, and students contributed to the event’s achievements last year and is essential to the success of the 2013 event,” Beckley said.
The cost to conduct both events requires nearly $40,000, therefore this competition could not be held without the generous support of local businesses and industries, whose donations also match the federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This year’s $1000 Platinum Level sponsors included ACS Manufacturing, Airgas, Best Pawn, Caterpillar, Monitor, Plyler Construction, Panda Power, Snelling Staffing Services and Vector Systems Inc. Gold Level sponsor is Save Phace. Silver Level sponsors are Denison Development Alliance, Elite Welding and Construction, Ruiz Food Products, Sherman Economic Development Corporation and Tyson Foods. Friends sponsor of the Welding Rodeo include Brad and Mattie McClenny, Landmark Bank, TAPS and Sunny Delight. Sponsor contributions include cash donations and/or in-kind support such as donated scrap metal, big generators, tents, refreshments, meals, water and cold drinks, supplies and professional donated time.
“It is a great experience to watch these high school students create beautiful sculptures out of scrap metal,” said event committee member Janis Thompson.
For information about sponsorship opportunities for the 2013 Welding Rodeo, please contact Thompson, GC grant coordinator, at 903-463-8766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.