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Saddle up for UH Hilo Equestrian Center benefit

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Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

How many paniolos does it take to rustle up a good time?

The public is invited to find out on February 23, 2008 by joining University of Hawaii at Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng and a host of other wranglers at “Cowboy Up 2008: A Blue Jeans and Black Tie Barbecue” fund-raising event from 2-6 p.m. at the UH Hilo Ag Farm in Panaewa.

The unique event will feature live country music, special guests and entertainment, a silent and live auction and a beef barbecue. Proceeds will benefit the UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Resource Management to equip the new UH Hilo Equestrian Center with interior panels, pens, bleacher seating and equipment.

“The facility has been a work-in-progress up to now and we are preparing to begin to utilize it,” said CAFNRM Dean William Steiner. “The arena will be a tremendous resource for our students and benefit to the community.

“Imagine a facility that can be used for equine and livestock shows, 4-H and FFA programs and training, and community events. This is the kind of facility that can be easily converted to use for auto shows, floral shows, auctions and other community events as well,” he added.

There will be a special presentation honoring the Equestrian Center’s founding supporter, Mrs. Kapua Wall Heuer, whose daughter, Pudding Lassiter, is chairing the volunteer-organizing committee.

“My mother was so excited when she heard that an equestrian arena would be built at UH Hilo. It would be a place where local kids could participate in rodeo and equine activities, while getting a college education,” Lassiter said. “This is especially meaningful because two of her great-grandchildren are now attending UH Hilo. I’m looking forward to seeing my mother’s dream being fulfilled.”

Tickets are $100 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available for $250, $500 or $1,000. Sponsors receive special recognition in addition to event tickets.

To reserve tickets, call the CAFNRM Office at 974-7393. For sponsorship opportunities, call 933-3112 or email Andrea Furuli at For auction donations, call Sarah Blanchard at 934-9246 or email

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