Vernon Parish Rodeo sees an increase in profit after allowing alcohol sales

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VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB) - Thousands of dollars in Leesville will go towards helping children with disabilities. The Leesville Lions Club raised the money through this year’s rodeo, where they sold wine and beer for the first time in 70 years.

Alcohol sold at the Vernon Parish Rodeo | Photo Courtesy of the Leesville Lions Club

Several residents in Vernon Parish voiced their displeasure to the club for selling alcohol during the event, but the club said those sales helped them meet their goal.

“We were extremely pleased to see the crowd on Saturday night,” Logan Morris, the treasurer for the Leesville Lions Club said.

Members of the Leesville Lions Club described Saturday Night’s rodeo as a packed house, bringing people from all over the Cenla area to Vernon Parish.

“We had people attend from Rapides Parish that have never been to our rodeo before,” Morris said. “We are extremely pleased to see that.”

Morris and other club members believe this year’s contribution of beer and wine sales helped the club surpass its original fundraising goal of $30,000.

“Revenue was substantially up,” Morris said. “We don’t have a final figure for our rodeo this year, but we are expecting it to be a wonderful year.”

Several members in the community, including the Leesville Area Ministers Alliance, voiced their displeasure with the club’s decision.

Residents against beer and wine sales said alcohol would take away from the family atmosphere. However, the Lions Club begged to differ.

“There were no incidents regarding the alcohol sales this year,” Morris said. “We don't anticipate that will be the case next year or any other year.”

While alcohol sales did help contribute to this year’s fundraising efforts, Morris and the Lions Club both pointed to the fact that this year’s event helped put a significant dent in their annual fundraising goal.

“We typically turn over 55 to 60 thousand dollars a year to the league,” Morris stated.

The Lions Club believes more than 50 percent of the money will come from proceeds collected at this past weekend’s rodeo.

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