The Saratoga Sun -

GECB Gathering to benefit South Dakota ranchers


This Sunday, the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering Ouftit (GECB) is co-sponsoring “All About the Livestock,” a live entertainment event to aid South Dakota producers who lost animals in the “Atlas” blizzard.

This event, which takes place in Lead, S.D., is a fundraiser for the South Dakota Rancher’s Relief Fund, and will benefit those who lost cattle, sheep and horses from the early October blizzard in South Dakota known as Atlas. Several performers, including ones from the Platte Valley, will donate their talent to help livestock producers impacted by the blizzard.

“We’re doing it because of the terrible snowstorm, in which producers lost 100 to 200 head of livestock including cattle, horses and sheep,” said Candy Moulton, event organizer, western writer and GECB member. “Those ranchers are hurting badly, and we want to reach out and help them in a way that we might be able to help. Proceeds will all go toward the Rancher Relief Fund developed by the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.”

Carbon Power and Light General Manager Chuck Larsen, who is a South Dakota native, cowboy humorist and storyteller, will emcee the program and perform. Encampment singer-guitarist Steve Moulton will also perform. Moulton is a lifelong rancher and winner of the Wrangler Award as Outstanding New Artist, which was given from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 2010.

Performers from outside the Platte Valley include country singer-songwriter Dave Stamey, of Orange Grove, Calif., singer-songwriter Caitlyn Taussig, of Kremmling, Colo., singer-songwriter Trinity Seely of Alcova, and “Cowboy Culture South Dakota Style,” a South Dakota-based music and poetry group consisting of Robert Dennis, Ken Cook and Paul Larson.

“The entertainers coming in are donating their time, talent and travel costs to this, so we aren’t taking any expenses out of the proceeds,” Moulton said. “We’re also putting together a few items for an auction we’ll have, and local Saratoga and Encampment businesses and individuals are making donations.”

Tickets are available at the door and online at Admission is $50 for Premium Seating; $20 for adult general seating; and free for children 12 and younger. General seating is first come, first served, and all proceeds will benefit the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund.

“We have been involved in ranching our entire lives, and after seeing the horrific photographs of thousands of head and dead livestock after Atlas moved out, we wanted to do something to help,” Moulton said. “At dinner one evening, the idea of a Cowboy Concert to benefit the ranch families was born. Every performer who will take the stage in Lead comes with an understanding of the livestock industry, and most of them are ranchers themselves. They recognize the losses, not only of this year’s crop, but also the years of effort it takes to build a foundation herd.”

Moulton said the event is also meant to remind people of the importance of ranching as a career and livelihood.

“In addition to raising some money for the ranchers, we want this concert to be a celebration of ranching life, which is a core mission of the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering,” she said. “People can also still donate even if they can’t attend.”

Donations may be made to the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund at, or by sending a check payable to “Rancher Relief Fund” toward Black Hills Community Area Foundation/S.D. Rancher Relief Fund, PO Box 231, Rapid City, S.D. 57709. The event begins at 2 p.m., Sunday at the Historic Homestake Opera House, 313 West Main St. in Lead, S.D.

For more information on All About the Livestock, call 605-584-2067.


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