Late Round-Up Director was honored last night during Round 5 of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Although Jolene Kemen was often found working behind the scenes, her impact left a legacy. Last night during the rodeo performance, Kemen was honored for her dedication to her Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign she launched in Red Bluff. Receiving the Montana Silversmiths buckle in her honor was her daughter Lynn, and husband Cliff Kemen.
“Jolene always made me feel at home when I arrived in Red Bluff to time the Rodeo,” says PRCA timer, Sherry Gibson. “Her welcoming smile, big hug and time spent at our campsite will always be the best thoughts of the Red Bluff Round-Up.”.
Kemen had a passion to make a difference and during her time at the Round-Up, she did nothing less. Kemen launched the Tough Enough to Wear Pink campaign for the Round-Up in 2006. She worked with the Mercy Foundation North and Dignity Health St. Elizabeth Hospital. Kemen originally set a goal of $500,000 for those undergoing cancer treatment. This year, through the efforts of the Round-Up community, the campaign has now surpassed her original goal.
Kemen also had a passion for children, in which she was able to merge with rodeo and the western way of life in assisting with the PRCA Kid’s Camp. Along with late fellow Director Harvey Camacho, the pair were able to bring the Kid’s Camp to Red Bluff and be the primary organizers for the event. An event that is still held annually in March.
Kemen was the third generation of her family to be involved with the Round-Up. She was the first woman director of the Round-Up, becoming director in 1996.
Jolene Kemen passed away January 7, 2019 in Red Bluff. She was 66 years old.