Dec 30, 2011

Cowboy Christmas 2011

A sold out crowd in their cowboy finery was on hand for this year's Cowboy Christmas. The Hilton Santa Fe Plaza was the setting for our guests who came from throughout the state and from across the country. Cowboy hats outnumbered neckties for a crowd that was anticipating a good time on a crisp winter night. What a better way to start off the Christmas season!

The silent auction had some amazing bargains.

Old friends and big hugs were plentiful.

Singleton's San Cristobal Ranch manager Grant Mitchell and his wife Connie visit with Senator Larry Larranaga.

Governor Susana Martinez and her husband Chuck Franco enjoy the evening with our dinner sponsors from Double H Boots, Vice President Steve Vickers and President Greg Crouchley.

Governor Susana Martinez and her husband Chuck Franco with their table guests Gold Star parents Don and Jo Ann Zembiec.

Horses for Heroes - New Mexico, Inc. President Rick Iannucci addresses a full house!

NM Veteran Services Cabinet Secretary Col. Tim Hale provided our prayerful invocation and blessing.

Sgt. Erik Schei is surrounded by fellow veterans, staff and Program Partners as he is inducted as the newest member of The Order of the Purple Wildrag! (Working Ranch Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011)

Cowboy Up! director Nancy De Santis does the honors.

Erik Schei showing his appreciation in the finest cowboy tradition.

New Mexico's First Gentleman and our very own Cowboy Up! volunteer instructor Chuck Franco spoke about his experience working with our program then introduced his wife Governor Susana Martinez.

Governor Susana Martinez speaking about the Cowboy Code and the Warrior Code.

Governor Susana Martinez leads off with a live auction item painted and donated by her husband the First Gentleman, Chuck Franco, while auctioneer Lisa Vahkaria and Cowboy Up! Graduate Emily Ruch get ready.

The floor is a buzz as the live auction progresses with a magnificent framed piece by Santa Fe artist Thom Ross of Due West Gallery.

Sgt. Kristy LaFrance and her dog Stella look on while Rick Iannucci describes her generously donated tapestry.

Sirius XM Patriot Radio Newtwork host Andrew Wilkow (Wilkow Majority) spoke briefly about his experience with our veterans when he rode with us at the Crossed Arrows Ranch.

First Gentleman and our Governor dancing to the sounds of Joe West and Friends.

Cowboy Up! program graduate and Navajo ranche, alroy Billiman and Darilyn Jackson.

Ricardo Cate of "Without Reservations" fame hands over one of his original cartoons to actor Wes Studi.

Rancher Henry McKinley and his wife Peg chat with NM Livestock Board Executive Director Myles Culbertson, Carl Hawkins of Hawkins Chuckwagon Fame, and Sylvia Wright.

Governor Martinez posing with our most helpful volunteers Tom, Channing, Kennedy and Lisa.

Joe West and Friends rocking out!

Maura Studi and our Cowboy Up! volunteer Wes Studi sits in with the band on bass.

Large animal veterinarian Larry Nolan visits with Bonanza Creek Ranch manager Steve Price and owner Richard Hughes.

The gangs all here! NM Cattlegrowers Association Executive Director Caren Cowen with Charletta Larranaga, Senator Larry Larranaga, Nancy De Santis, Rick Iannucci, Farm Bureau's Matt Rush, Janelle Duffy, NM Cattlegrowers past Preident Bert Ancell, Debbie Ancell and Myles Culbertson.

Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!