By Jessie Reestman
After over a year-long hiatus, members of the Elgin Ko-Ed Group (EKG) gathered at Boomerang’s on Thursday, Feb. 4, to discuss the possible return of the Bullarama. The decision was made early last spring to cancel last summer’s annual event due to COVID restrictions, and unfortunately, the group has not held an activity since.
EKG was formed in 2012, a few years before the Elgin Q125, with the idea of creating a group whose sole purpose was to host local events to raise funds to help support the upcoming celebration. The group’s name, the heart logo featuring a pulse line, and the group’s motto . . . “Keeping Elgin Alive” were formed around that very idea.
Today, seven years after the Q125, the group is still functioning and turning the support of their events into donations to help the community. Their biggest donation to date is a $40,000 contribution to the new swimming pool. Various events such as the Big Red Tailgate, Big Red Sam Piano Show, and the annual Bullarama helped make this and many other donations possible.
Despite the fact that the group has been unable to host an event since the Bullarama of 2019, they have continued to contribute to helping the community. In July of 2019, the group donated $2,500 to the Elgin Rescue Unit, followed by a $2,500 donation to the Elgin Community Center. This past year they contributed $300 to post proms, $3,000 in scholarships, $2,500 to the Elgin Fire Department, $5,000 to the Elgin Pride of Place light project, $1,400 to the Elgin Bargain Box “Raise the Roof Fund” and spent over $300 in soil and plants to again fill the planters they had previously purchased to beautify each corner of main street.
For these reasons, as well as the firm belief that the community is ready to enjoy such an event once again, the group voted in favor of the return of the Bullarama. The Bullarama has been scheduled for Friday, June 11, which will now be part of this year’s Vetch Days Celebration. It was also confirmed to once again include mutton busting as part of the evening’s festivities. Ted and JoAnn Baum, lead coordinators of the event, led the discussion on bleachers, sand, event workers, insurance, ice, cattle panels and semi-trailers, advertising, ticket prices, as well as music following the event.
Wrapping up the evening’s discussion on the Bullarama, Adam Veik, a long-time EKG member and Elgin Youth wrestling coach, made a request asking the group to purchase new singlets for the 30 kids involved in the youth program. Upon Adam sharing the figures involved, the decision was made to purchase new singlets for the program at the cost of $1,400.
Scholarships were also a topic of discussion. The decision was made for Anney Beckman to head the committee responsible for selecting this year’s recipients. Dollar amounts and the number of scholarships awarded is yet to be determined.
The final decision of the meeting was the approval to design and purchase new EKG t-shirts. As with any organization, membership has changed over the years, leaving many new members without representation to wear while working and promoting events. Long time members also expressed that it was time to replace the old shirts. The new shirts will be unveiled at this year’s Bullarama.
Although a date for the next month’s meeting is yet to be set, anyone interested in joining the group or offering their assistance during the Bullarama may contact an EKG member or simply attend the next meeting. Information about upcoming meetings and events can be found on the EKG Facebook page.
By Jessie Reestman