Richard Bach's Slimdor Contracting Ltd. is entering its 18th year of sponsoring the Ranch Rodeo that kicks off the action-packed Lions Labour Day Weekend Rodeo.

Being held Friday, Sept. 3, the ranch rodeo features teams of cowboys and cowgirls from different ranches competing in events based upon the type of work they do every day.

It was 18 years ago that Kevin Firkus and John Copithorne approached Bach with the idea of kicking off the rodeo weekend with something for the local ranching community to enjoy. From day one, it's been free for all to enjoy, thanks to the sponsorship of Slimdor.

Bach remains as passionate about it as ever and will proudly continue to sponsor it for years to come.

"I thought it was a great idea. It gets everybody together, and in my mind, it's been the number one event all along for the ranchers," says Bach.

Bach moved to Cochrane in 1974 when he was 10 years old. He went to school with many kids from the ranching community and quickly learned about its importance and history. 

"That's what built this town," he says.

Rodeo co-chairman Kevin Firkus says the Lions Club appreciates how Bach and his company have stepped up for this and other community causes.

"It's been 18 fabulous years," says Firkus. "It's a free event that Rich puts on, and he does for the community and the people he grew up with. He's a very community-minded person, and the Cochrane Lions Club appreciates his involvement."

Bach's dad started Slimdor Holding Ltd. in 1979 and was contracted to reclaim the entire Canmore coal mine. He retired in 1988, and Rich fired up the contracting division when he was 23. It directly employees 64 people and hires many subcontractors.

The 54th annual Labour Day Weekend rodeo is all about rebooting our Western spirit. The Lions have plenty planned leading up to the event and during the weekend to help us along.

Watch for more.