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Whitmus To Serve As Grand Marshal

Whitmus To  Serve As  Grand Marshal Whitmus To  Serve As  Grand Marshal

By Bill Vander Weele

Don Whitmus is thrilled and honored to be selected as the grand marshal for the 101st annual Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede. This year’s Stampede is scheduled for July 10-13.

Whitmus explained that he was invited to have supper during a Stampede committee meeting this spring. “Part way through the meeting, they said they selected me as grand marshal,” Whitmus said. “I was shocked and deeply honored.”

Whitmus, 84, has certainly done his share to make the Stampede such a popular event in northeastern Montana. After all, he served on the Stampede committee for 57 years. His final year was last year’s 100th celebration.

“I thought it went extremely well last year,” the Wolf Point native said. “It sounds like this year will be a good one too.”

He originally got involved when he sold pre-rodeo tickets at the PCA, now Farm Credit Services, starting in 1963. Soon after, he started to help out at the rodeo office. He liked his role assisting in the rodeo office throughout the years.

“What I did was helped the rodeo secretary hand out numbers and ran errands if they needed it,” Whitmus explained.

He could also be counted on to do more than his fair share of mowing grass for the Stampede Committee.

Another part of his duties was bringing out the old ticket booth each year. When a micro-burst took off the booth’s roof, Whitmus worked to put on a new roof. That booth is now located at the Wolf Point Museum.

A personal highlight for Whitmus came in 2006 when he received the 25th Dodge Rodeo Volunteer of the Year buckle.

“It’s very special,” he said. He explained that he’s a belt buckle collector and has most of the PRCA buckles.

Whitmus has certainly been a valuable member of the Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede Committee.

“It’s just been a great experience,” he said. “Our committee has always been so good. We get along well and work well together.”

Along with Stampede, Whitmus has also been involved in other community activities throughout his life. For three or four years, he sold the program advertising for the Nemont Agribition event, He has been a member of the Wolf Point Elks Lodge for 59 years including serving as Exalted Ruler in 19861987. He represented the local Elks at several conferences. In addition, Whitmus has been on the community’s flag committee for 30 years.

He was active with AAU wrestling for 30 years, including 15 as a pairing master in the Eastern Division. His duties included writing articles with results for the Wolf Point newspaper.

“My goal was to always start on time,” Whitmus said of the wrestling meets. “We had a good crew. It was like a big family. I couldn’t had done it without the support of my wife and kids.”

Now, he is looking forward to serving as grand marshal for Wolf Point’s largest event.

“I’m just will try to serve them well,” Whitmus said. “I’ve always been proud of being part of the committee.”

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