GRIZ GRIT: Doing Their Part

By Beacon Staff

Nashville songwriter and recent Mission Mountain Wood Band addition Tim Ryan Rouillier has long been committed to helping Mission Valley students with their college education by providing yearly scholarships through a golf tournament and some old-fashioned country entertainment.

For the last 23 years the annual event, advertised as the state’s oldest such fundraiser, has given nearly $125,000 in payments of $500 to deserving students who attend an in-state institution.

Since performing on a portable stage with Dan Seals at the Mule Marathon at Evaro in 1987, the event has grown in popularity and proportion.

And while he said he is closing in on hopefully handing over responsibilities to others, this year’s fundraiser July 15 at the Mission Mountain Golf Club will provide a springboard to next year’s finale when country band Exile is set to highlight the stage.

While there is probably a chance to get late entry into the golf tournament, there is plenty of opportunity to attend the entertainment part of the program featuring four original Mission Mountain Wood Band members, Christian Johnson, Rob Quist, Greg Reichenberg and Steve Riddle, along with Rouiller as the legendary group will take us back to the Aber Day Kegger with a variety of recognizable sounds.

But with the recent release of their album “Reboot” you’ll also be treated to some of the group’s finest produced music in decades, proving it’s never too late to produce musical magic.

I hear there also will be a surprise performer or two with Grizzly ties, and the Wrangler Country Showdown winners and Lisa Carver are also on the agenda.

For Rouillier, the event has drawn some of the nation’s top performers and Hall of Fame songwriters to the valley, and is an opportunity to encourage area youths to follow their dreams and keep in touch with where he grew up and still has a ranch.

“We have to give back to home,” said Rouillier. “We came out of this place so we want to help other kids and give them a little foot in the door.”

While five schools formerly benefited from the program, students at Ronan and St. Ignatius high schools currently participate.

Students are nominated by their respective schools after meeting certain criteria, which include family income, grade point average and community service.

A committee picks several winners who each receive $500.

Several hundred people yearly buy just the after-tournament meal or come for the music, which starts at 5 p.m. Mission Mountain Wood Band is scheduled to take the stage at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the entertainment this year are $10 but kids under 18 are free.

Absent from this year’s event will be Tim’s mom, who died earlier this spring, and such annual attendees as Montana (Tana) Bockman, who never missed the event.

The bowl behind the course’s pro shop is an amazing entertainment venue.

“It’s a great atmosphere,” said Rouiller, who is quick to credit his wife, Peggy, for the longevity and success of the event.

It’s long been a struggle to keep the event afloat, especially given the economy and the presence of just five original major sponsors, said Rouiller, who plans to put a wrap on the event next year in the hopes someone else can pick up the ball.

“I think we’ve done our part,” he said wistfully. “Times have changed. I hope somebody else out there can do something to help the valley.”

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.