Columbia River Cowboy Gathering & Music Festival

<p>Cowboy entertainment by &ldquo;Sourdough Slim&rdquo;</p>

Cowboy entertainment by &ldquo;Sourdough Slim&rdquo;

<p>Budd Massengale</p>

Budd Massengale

<p>Mark Blotz</p>

Mark Blotz

This weekend marks the 10th anniversary of the Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Music Festival.

And to get things kicked off in the right direction, a special supporter was honored today with the champion of the year award.

Event organizers tipped their hats to Clover Island Inn's General Manager Mark Blotz who has been a champion of the cowboy event for the last decade.

The award was presented to Blotz in recognition of his company's staff time and on-going support.

Event director Budd Massengale says community events like his couldn't donate to local charities without community support...

"If you can make it 10 years, you're probably gonna be around for the long haul and the people that are there with you. You couldn't have got there without them so you have to recognize that you didn't do this alone, that you had alot of help and assistance and the community is what it's all about," said Massengale.

"I'm so very proud of of my staff. A hotel is just four walls and  a roof. What makes a hotel is the people inside," said Blotz.

Two non-profits will benefit from this year's event - the Columbia Basin Veterans Coalition and Rascals Rodeo.

The three day event kicks off at the Benton County Fairgrounds Friday at noon.