Volunteers make rodeo happen
By Holly Neumann
For Bert Timm, volunteering at the Mid-Western Rodeo is nothing new. He has been doing it since 1987.
“I started in the kitchen,” Timm said. “Then around 1995, I started pushing around a wheebarrow.”
Known to audience members as “Wheelbarrow Bert,” Timm pushes around a cart filled with beverages to sell to the crowd during every show.
“I have a lot of fun and I like interacting with the crowd,” he said. “Some of the people I see year after year. They come to every show. You really get to know your audience.”
Announcer Roger Mooney gives a shout out to Timm during each performance.
“The first year he did it I almost fainted. It was so surreal and a little embarrassing because all eyes are on me at that moment,” he said. “But, at the same time it makes me feel like I am a part of the show.”
He is known for the variety of T-shirts, which he calls conversation pieces, that he wears to the rodeo.
“I have drawers filled with them,” he said. “Anything from ‘I am not a Cadillac kind of guy’ to one that reads ‘I have been pushing this wheelbarrow for over 20 years and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.’”
Away from the rodeo, Timm also gets recognized.
“I go to other events and people will call me over and say I saw you at the rodeo. I guess I have celebrity status,” he said.
Over the years, Timm has seen a lot of changes to the show.
“There is no dead air space now,” he said. “There is always something going on. If you are not watching, you might miss it. It keeps you guessing from year to year what they will come up with for entertainment.”
What keeps him coming back?
His answer is simply the routine.
“I know they need help and I am able to give it,” he said. “There are many other volunteers just like me that have been here year after year. We do it because we can. It is the least that I can do. And they give it all back to the community. That is a win for everyone.”
For now, Timm says he will continue to volunteer as long as he is physically able.
“I am pushing 60,” he said. “I will be there as long as I possibly can.”
When the time comes for Timm to step down from this responsibilities, he jokingly says he would like to see his son Jake take over.
“He has the personality for it,” said Timm. “Now I just have to convince him.”