by Rene Groom
for Agri-Times NW
It isn't just any senior project, and perhaps not just anyone could do it. But add a passionate young go-get-er', eager to share his family's business, and a desire to "do something" to raise money for a disease that has afflicted both family and friends, it is amazing what can be done.
Wyatt Wentz is a strong member of the Wentz Bucking Bulls Organization. A family owned and operated Bucking Bulls breeding ranch in the Yakima Valley. Started in 1999, by Wyatt's parents,when Wyatt was just a little guy, the ranch produces PBR bucking bulls. Both of Wyatt's parents come from strong rodeo backgrounds, mom, Vicki, and dad, Craig, both competed at a National level; Craig starts out on the Bulls and moving into saddle bronc while Vicki competed in barrel racing, where Wyatt's sister Fallon in now making her mark. It is fair to say that rodeo is in their blood.
When faced with the challenge of Washington State's requirement for all graduating students to complete a Culminative Project, coupled with the stress of family and friends fighting cancer, it seemed a natural fit for Wyatt to organize a Bull Riding Event to raise awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer, a couple of brainstorming sessions with his dad and "Makin' 8 for Prostate" was born.
Of course the 8 - in "Makin' 8" represents the 8 seconds that are required for the bull rider to gain a score.
The goal of Wyatt's senior project is to organize a charity event. In doing so, Wyatt has done marketing, sold sponsorship, located bull riders and bull fighters, secured the Grandview Rodeo grounds, and endless other tasks, quiet an accomplishment for anyone, let alone a 17 year old high school senior.
The OSPI (Office of Superintendant of Public Instruction describes the requirements of a Culminating Project as ways to: Encourage students to think analytically, logically and creatively and to integrate experience and knowledge to solve problems. Give students a chance to explore a topic in which they have a great interest.
Offer students an opportunity to apply their learning in a "real world" way.
Readers can support this event by following/sharing "Makin' 8 for Prostate" on Face Book, becoming an event sponsor (there are several levels), and by attending the event Sept 13th, 7:00 P.M at the Yakima Valley Fairgrounds in Grandview, WA. Bull riders can register after Sept 1. T-shirts are also available. According to event creator Wyatt Wentz the hope is that this will be an annual event.