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Mike was a key member of the Paulina Rodeo Club, holding offices for several years, and he loved the Paulina Rodeo grounds and treated it as his own for many years

CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - Mike Sturza was honored as the 2022 Paulina Rodeo Old TimerThe Paulina Rodeo Club is proud to honor Mike Sturza as the 2022 Paulina Rodeo Old Timer. Mike lived 31 of his 58 years in Paulina, with his wife, Patti Miller.

Mike was a key member of the Paulina Rodeo Club, holding offices for several years. He loved the Paulina Rodeo grounds and treated it as his own for many years, changing water daily from July 1 until Labor Day weekend.

In addition, Mike was instrumental in the success of the Paulina Rodeo:

From organizing hay donations to hauling and delivering hay to the rodeo grounds;

From feeding bucking stock to loading the bucking stock each performance, with good friend, Norm Durphy;

From selling ads to spending many hours billing sponsors for ads after the rodeo was over

From gathering donated livestock to hauling that livestock home when the rodeo was over

From helping Helen Schnabele and Naida Miller clean the cook shack for good friends Bob and Sarah Miller to cleaning up the grounds Monday morning after the rodeo with Carl Schnabele, Bob Brittner, and Bobby VanWinkle

From helping Wanda edit the rodeo poster to picking up the posters in John Day

And on and on, whatever needed done

After Mike's passing, Patti continued to sell Mike's ads in Madras and Redmond for several years, while trying to pick up the slack for his absence in the club.

Mike kept his tractor and roping steers at the rodeo grounds for many years and worked the ground throughout the summer for weekly team roping practices.

Mike ran many trap shoots for various fundraisers and was on the ground floor of the Paulina Rodeo Scholarship fund, developing where it is today.

He volunteered to coach football and basketball at Paulina Elementary and many children benefitted from his knowledge of the games. In 2014, Mike was recognized for his community service when he was awarded the Carl Weaver Outstanding Service Award.

Upon Mike's untimely death in 2015, memorial contributions in his name were significant. A total of $3,000 was donated to Paulina School and was used to purchase new basketball uniforms. An additional $3,000 was donated to the Paulina Rodeo Club, of which a portion was used to buy a new roping chute.

In addition, three students were selected for the Mike Sturza Scholarship, and each received $1,000 to assist with their schooling. Recipients were Carson Raymond, Reata Youngblood, and Chelsea Thomas.

Mike would be honored to be Paulina Rodeo Old Timer, but he also would be laughing because he had proposed a rule that if a person was not living, they could not be selected.

We are put on this earth to serve. Based on Mike's contributions to the Paulina Rodeo Grounds, Paulina Rodeo, Paulina Community, Paulina School, Paulina Trap Shoots and Pau Mau Club, he definitely did his part in serving and volunteering. Job well done, Mike Sturza. You are missed!

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