12 years later, president says picnic worth effort
When Jerry Trober first became CPA president, he only expected a two-year term. Little did he know his dedication would cause him to serve over a decade.
"This is my 12th year," Trober said. "The normal time is a two-year term, and the day came to elect somebody else and they never did. I asked them two or three times, 'are you sure you're happy with me?'"
Apparently, the committee members decided he was good enough for the job.
After retiring in April, Trober said the CPA picnic is something he will now devote more time to. He said devoting time to the event is more than just fun and games.
"Most people in Eudora think the carnival comes to town and that's it," Trober said.
He is heavily involved with organizing the event, signing contracts and planning for next year. Trober has been actively involved with arranging Toby's Carnival Company to bring amusement rides and entertainment to the three-day event.
"They're good people," said Trober of the Toby's crew. "In 12 years I've never had anything bad happen."
Trober is donating a five-acre spread for politicians, Shriners and horse riders. Though it keeps him busy, his drive for continuing with the picnic's organization is watching the children's parade, which makes the stress worthwhile.
"The kids look forward to it every year, because they know it's their day in the stars," he said. "I've heard kids say they're saving their money for C.P.A. starting today. And that was the day after it happened."
In 1898, cattle farmers around Eudora began meeting once a year to discuss problems with rustlers and the measures needed to eliminate the problem. Originally called the Cattlemen's Protective Association, the alliance eventually became a social event as cattle farming in Eudora reduced during the mid-20th century. In the 1940s, it turned into an annual picnic.
"It's probably the biggest event in Eudora," Trober said. "It's just a place where everybody has lots of fun."
Aside from fun, local organizations also benefit form the picnic. C.P.A. is a non-profit origination, with proceeds made going to Eudora Medical Services and Eudora High School scholarships for graduates. Local Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, churches and 4-Hers also benefit. Last year, $4,000 was raised by the event.
"A lot of people don't understand that we don't get anything out of this, Trober said. "We enjoy watching the kids."
Just because he's president, he doesn't let it go to his head. You won't find Trober on any Eudora floats anytime in the near future. He prefers the top of Main, where he can watch the children enjoy their spotlight.
"That makes my day," Trober said. "It makes it worth it. It really does."