For each of the last four years, Diane Storms says she has worried that no one would come to her party.
But each year, she says, the Cowgirls With Heart rodeo dance she throws at El Casino Ballroom has drawn a crowd.
Storms, a former marshal in the Tucson Rodeo Parade, says her love of tradition inspired her to start the charity dance. She's fashioned it in the style of ranch dances held after cattle brandings and hard, dusty days of riding.
That love of tradition inspired her to choose the historic El Casino Ballroom as its home.
"Boy, I love that, because I've been going to the rodeo since I was a kid," says Fred Martinez, who manages the South Tucson venue.
Storms' dances have brought a new element - the rodeo crowd - to El Casino, says Martinez. Welcoming different communities is a big part of the ballroom's history going back to the 1950s, when road shows like Chubby Checker performed there.
Proceeds this year go to the Arizona chapter of Western Wishes, a nonprofit organization that helps ill or struggling children and their families attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Harry Luge Jr., who is a regular performer on the Country Thunder festival circuit, will play.
Tickets are $8 in advance at any area Boot Barn location or $10 at the door. All ticket holders will also be entered to win a sterling silver belt buckle made by Montana Silversmiths.
If you go
• What: Cowgirls With Heart rodeo dance.
• When: Feb. 22. Doors open at 6 p.m., Harry Luge in concert 8 to close.
• Where: El Casino Ballroom, 437 E. 26th St.
• Admission: $8 in advance. $10 at the door. All ages welcome with adult.
• More information: 954-4355
Coming next week
Read more about Harry Luge in next week's Caliente.