June 12th, 2024

Charity honours cowboy who loved kids, sports

By Sean Rooney on June 23, 2018.


Blair Stroh was a cowboy first, but the truth is he did it all.

Now a charity in his name will ensure other kids who want to keep playing sports, can.

The 45-year-old died when his car went off the road near the family ranch in Elkwater Aug. 24, 2017. Friends and family packed the Cypress Centre to say goodbye, representing not only the rodeo community but also those in skiing, volleyball, football, basketball and pretty much every other sport Blair could find time to be involved with

“Blair was always here and there, he had so many things on the go,” said his sister, Karla Stroh-Mattson. “He was (daughter) Abbi’s volleyball coach, he worked at the ski hill for years and taught lessons.

“I don’t want to let his memory go.”

To that goal, Karla helped start the Blair Stroh Cowboys for Kids charity, which will give out money to youth who otherwise couldn’t afford to participate in sports. Its first fundraising event is, appropriately, a youth team roping event July 26.

After all, Blair was among the best ropers in the country, a regular at the Canadian Finals Rodeo and even named its rookie of the year in 1996.

“Blair helped so many kids,” said Karla. “He quit pro (rodeo) a few years ago because Abbi was getting into barrel racing. His boys (Jake and Nate) were starting in team roping but they don’t want to do it without Blair right now.”

Other events are in the works including a volleyball tournament and steak dinner. The roping event to be held at the Schreiner Arena will include a 50/50 and silent auction. Among the items is a special piece of artwork from the Denver Broncos — his favourite team — which has a piece of a Super Bowl L game ball on it.

“A couple of other friends have gotten donors from rodeo companies,” said Karla. “We have had a lot of people call and want to help.”

That’s probably because Blair left a lot of good memories behind. Like the time he drove two girls’ suitcases out to Lethbridge for a volleyball tournament after they accidentally left them behind. Or when he dressed a goat in a Broncos jersey for good luck.

“He was 45 going on 12,” joked Karla. “He did a lot with kids.”

Thanks to the charity, he’s far from done.

For more information find Blair Stroh Cowboys for Kids on Facebook, or call either Darcy Davies (403-527-0560) or Karla Stroh-Mattson (403-488-4887).

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