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False reps for Barstow rodeo stealing donations
Two-day 'Stampede,' in 25th year, begins Sept. 27
Barstow Rodeo Stampede
• $10 day of performance, ages 5 and up
• $8 presale, ages 5 and up
• Free, under 5 years old
• $10, adults
• $5, ages 6 to 15
• Free, ages 5 and under
Barstow Rodeo Stampede/Calico Days
BARSTOW • Scammers have been misidentifying themselves to steal donations meant for the upcoming Barstow Rodeo Stampede, a rodeo official said.
When Mal Wessel, president of the rodeo, called a local business to collect their pledged donation, the business owner said he had given it out already.
“We’ve had that,” Wessel said Thursday. “They’re not us. It’s just one of those things that happens.”
Wessel said the deception had happened before. Two or three tons of hay were mistakenly given to swindlers a few years ago.
An email from the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday warned of further-reaching scams.
“There are individuals going out into Barstow and the High Desert area posing as representatives of the Barstow Rodeo Stampede and gaining their sponsorships and donations,” the email read. “They are having the checks, m/o, etc. made out to (the National Police Rodeo Association) and (the scammers) are NOT associated with the Barstow Rodeo Stampede (or NPRA).”
The email urged would-be sponsors to deal specifically with either Drake Allmon or Mal, Connie and Shawn Wessel.
Sponsors approached by anyone else, the email read, should immediately report it to Mal Wessel at 760-252-3093 or 760-912-9502.
Meanwhile, the rodeo, which is in its 25th year, will host a free round-up mixer Thursday, Sept. 12, at Soutar’s Dodge on 631 W. Main Street.
The mixer will include 50-cent hot dogs and beer, roping demonstrations, a performance by the Marine Corps Logistics Base Color Guard and, inside the Dodge showroom, a hometown chili cook-off, Wessel said. It will run 5 to 7 p.m.
The event will preclude the Barstow Rodeo Stampede on Sept. 27 and 28 at the United States Marine Corps Yermo Annex Stables and Arena. This year, the rodeo has combined forces with Calico Days, according to Wessel.
Calico Days will happen Sept. 28 and 29 at Calico Ghost Town.
Adults can purchase a ticket to both the rodeo and Calico Days for $16.
The rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m. both days and gates open at 5 p.m. The arena is located on Ghost Town Road between Interstates 15 and 40.
Tickets can be purchased at Soutar’s Dodge, Peggy Sue’s Diner, Senior Thrift Store and Boot Barn in Victorville.
Calico Days is 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 28 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 29. Calico Ghost Town is located off the 1-15, exit Ghost Town Road.
Visit www.BarstowRodeoStampede.com or www.CalicoTown.com for more information.
Shea Johnson can be reached at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com or 760-256-4126.