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July 21, 2006
Southwestern Oklahoma State University rodeo coach Chad Ramirez is sitting a little taller in his saddle these days.
SWOSU and the rodeo program received a rather unusual gift on July 20 when Wynnewood’s Eddie and Joyce Wood visited the Weatherford campus to celebrate a $47,000 plus gift that will be used for scholarships at SWOSU. And, surprisingly, both Eddie and Joyce are not even SWOSU alumni.
The 83-year-old Eddie is long-time owner of the Eddie Wood Sales Management Company, an auction company that sells registered livestock and horses. He has been in the business for so long that friends of the Woods’ wanted to pay tribute for his years of service that started in the 1950s.
So, friends and customers as well as members of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association and International Longhorn Breeders Association bought the Woods’ a new, four-door, fully-loaded Chevrolet pickup. Plus, they decided to raise money and let Eddie and Joyce select a university to start a scholarship program in their name.
Eddie and Joyce never realized that fund would grow to over $47,000.
“It is unreal how they raised the money,” Eddie said. “Friends and customers from all around the country have given money. It is so humbling that they would do this for me.”
The biggest portion of the money, around $30,000, was raised at a black-tie event in Ft.Worth, Texas. Other monies were raised through a letter campaign and at silent auctions at various cattle/horse sales events. Contributions ranged from less than $10 to $6,500.
It then came time to choose a university to start the scholarship program. The Woods wanted to choose a school that had a rodeo program, since the Longhorn cattle and horse businesses are associated with the rodeo business.
Joyce made a call to the SWOSU Institutional Advancement Office, and she received prompt attention from Sandy Miller, accountant in the SWOSU Foundation office. SWOSU is now the fortunate beneficiary of the gift.
“This gift will help us widen our recruitment efforts,” Ramirez said. “I am so honored and appreciative that Eddie and Joyce would choose to help our program at SWOSU. They are truly wonderful people and obviously have surrounded themselves with good friends.”
Eddie was born and raised in Tucumcari, N.M. He moved to Wynnewood in 1964 and now lives on his Pay Day Ranch, just outside Wynnewood. The charter member of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association was for many years the lone auctioneer in the Longhorn cattle business. He also is a former rodeo announcer. Both he and Joyce continue to work as consultants in the sales management business and maintain their ranching interests.
Eddie Wood has received many thanks over the years. His walls are filled with plaques of appreciation, he once was named an honorary Texan and there was even an Eddie Wood Day in Houston. But, none of that compares to the pride that he feels for the Eddie and Joyce Wood Rodeo Scholarship Fund that will help young people pursue their educational dreams while competing on the rodeo teams at SWOSU.