Representative Nora Espinoza and other Republican dignitaries serve up dinner during the Cowboy Prom, a Republican Party fundraising event held at The Liberty, Saturday evening. (Mark Wilson Photo)
An 1893 Chuck Wagon sits outside while smells of barbecue pulled pork and beans waft on the air, seeping out from inside. As the door opens, sounds of the country classic “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” by Toby Keith immediately fills the place with a hoedown feel. White tables accented with red plates and bandana napkins were completed with old lanterns and cowboy boots as centerpieces, transforming The Liberty into a western dining experience Saturday night.
The Chaves County Republican Women in conjunction with the Chaves County Republican Party hosted their first ever Cowboy Prom, and from the crowded room and excessive number of tables, it was a success.
President of the Chaves County Republican Women, Joan Boué, thought to herself last year that a fundraiser had to be done, and what better way than a western dance? However, she gives ownership of the title “Cowboy Prom” to City Councilor Jeanine Corn Best.
“Cowboys go to weddings, funerals, fires and dances,” Best said. “(Dances) were the way people socialized.” And then they added the prom aspect: “Most people here either haven’t gone to a prom or want to go to another prom,” she said. And so the two concepts were combined. There was even a photo booth set up, just like a normal prom, but with the added touch of western wear and accessories.
And depending on the person, different people took different parts of the theme to heart. Some came dressed up in tuxedos or nice dresses, while others rocked cowboy boots and hats.
“It’s interesting to see how everyone’s moving and grooving,” Best said.
The fundraiser’s money will be split evenly between the Republican Party and the Republican Women, the money then being used to help 2014 candidates after the primaries, Boué said.
They sold 250 tickets – more tickets than tables originally – and according to Boué’s husband, Hudson, the tickets were sold out a week before the event.
“We’re just thrilled to death,” Boué said.
To further raise money, the night held a live auction with western themed items such as cowboy boots, an original Oscar Hernandez painting of a cowboy in the sunset and a $3,000 Ewe Barbary Sheep hunt.