Giving his time
Buffalo Bill Rodeo volunteer wins award for years of service
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — A member of North Platte’s Buffalo Bill Rodeo committee has been awarded the John Justin Standard of the West Award.
Hank Knisley, North Platte, was given the 2021 award on Saturday., Feb. 26.
Kinsley’s volunteer service with the rodeo began a dozen years ago, but he was volunteering with NebraskalandDays (NLD) well before that. As a member of the North Platte Lions Club, he helped with the NLD parade before serving a term as a NLD board member.
After his NLD term was over, he was asked to be on the rodeo committee. As a rodeo committee member, Knisley helps set up the hospitality room, making sure food and beverages are ordered and delivered, and works around the arena facility, too.
He’s dependable and does excellent work, said Shelli Arensdorf, co-chair of the rodeo.
“He’s always willing to step in for what needs done,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s something you really don’t want to do, he’s the first to stick his hand in the air and volunteer to help.”
The rodeo committee counts on him, like they do on all of their volunteers.
“You can rely on him, no matter what,” Arensdorf said. “If he says he’s going to do the job, he does it and does it very well. You don’t have to follow up to make sure it got done.”
His volunteerism goes beyond the rodeo. He served six years as a board member, vice president and president of the North Platte St. Patrick School Board and is on the snow removal committee. When the sidewalks need cleared at St. Pat’s School, he and a crew of volunteers are there by 6 a.m. or earlier to move snow.
Knisley knows that as a volunteer, there is no assumption of gain.
“True volunteering is somebody who commits their time with absolutely no expectation of anything in return,” he said.
“It’s first and foremost about giving your time. At the end of the day, the Book tells us we’re supposed to help. And that’s what it’s really all about.”
As winner of the John Justin Standard of the West Award, Knisley will receive a custom pair of Justin Boots.
This year’s Buffalo Bill Rodeo will be held June 15-18 at the Wild West Arena in North Platte, Neb. Performances begin at 8 p.m. nightly. Tickets are on sale at NebraskalandDays.com and range in price from $7 to $19.
For more information, visit the website or call the office at (308) 532-7939.
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