Cambridge Rodeo board names Dopf’s Grand Marshals

Betty and Don Dopf, shown above, have been named Grand Marshals by the Cambridge Rodeo board. They will take part in the rodeo parade on Aug. 5, as well as the 2023 Cambridge Rodeo later that evening. Courtesy photo
Philip A. Janquart

Community leaders printed rodeo program for decades

 Since they were kids, there has seemingly not been much Don and Betty Dopf weren’t somehow involved in or connected to in Cambridge.

 On Friday, July 14, they were notified by the Cambridge Rodeo Association that they had been selected as Grand Marshals for the 2023 Cambridge Rodeo Parade to take place Saturday, Aug. 5.
 “Well, it’s quite an honor and we really appreciate it,” said Don, a humble guy who ran Cambridge Litho, Inc. with Betty for 49 years.
 The couple will be honored during the parade, which starts at 6 p.m. and will also take a trip around the Cambridge Rodeo Association grounds arena before the start of action later that evening. The rodeo is Aug. 4-5.
 Lineup for the parade is between 5 and 5:30 p.m., with all horses organizing on the Rails to Trail that goes through town and cars, trucks, and floats lining up on Railroad Ave. parallel to the trail. The parade will proceed to Highway 95, heading north, taking a right at the bend going east to the fairgrounds, according to Cambridge Rodeo Association Director of Administration Kim Royer.
 Every year, spectators line up along Cambridge storefronts on Highway 95, kids playing under the shower of the fire department’s water hoses and collecting candy thrown out by float passengers.
 “They have just been solid members of the community since they were tiny,” Royer said of the Dopf’s. “They retired a year or two ago and their names came up this year because they are such community minded people.”
 A section of Highway 95 was named the “Stu Dopf Memorial Highway” in honor of Don’s father who ran the local newspaper for 63 years, never missing even one issue in all that time. He was instrumental, some say, in getting the dangerous section of road rebuilt in the late 1990s and early 2000s, his direct and, sometimes, critical newspaper articles helping to prompt action by the Idaho Transportation Department.
 Don worked for Cambridge Telephone Company while attending Cambridge High School where he graduated in 1968 before joining the U.S. Air Force.
 Don and Betty married in 1970 and moved back to Cambridge in 1973 from McChord Air Base in Tacoma, Wash. after Don’s four-year stint in the military. They raised three kids, Shannon, Justin, and Brandon.
 They launched Cambridge Litho in 1973, the couple retiring in 2022. In the 49 years they ran the shop, Don and Betty printed the Cambridge Rodeo program for most of them. They printed others, including the Weiser Valley Roundup, McCall Frontier Rodeo, Adams County Rodeo, and Meridian Lions Rodeo programs, in addition to printing business forms for hospitals, medical clinics, car dealerships, phone companies, and many other businesses from McCall to Ontario, Ore.
 His community service included five years as the Cambridge Commercial Club president, during which he was involved in consolidating several local events into what is known today as Hell’s Canyon Days. He started the popular and ever-expanding Hell’s Canyon Days Show and Shine car show in 1996, serving as its coordinator for 25 years.
 He served two years on the Cambridge Planning and Zoning committee, was co-chairman of Cambridge School’s athletic field lighting committee, and was a sportswriter for the Upper-Country News Reporter from 1975 to 1997, and then again in 2016 and 2017. 
 He served as the Cambridge representative to the Idaho Heartland Coalition on Trade and Tourism for three years and served as a committee member for Troop 366 of the Boy Scouts of America from 1980 through 1993.
 Always interested in local history, he eventually served on the board of Idaho Historical Railroads from 1997 until 2004. He provided volunteer assistance during that time, helping establish Idaho’s only tourist railroad, the Thunder Mountain Line, which operated in Valley and Boise counties from 1998 through 2016. He co-published three area history books on railroading, two with Adams County Historian Dale Fisk, and one with the late Charles L. Faris, a close personal friend. 
 Don also volunteers some graphic services to the Adams County Historical Society in New Meadows.
 Both Don and Betty have also been active within the LDS Church in Cambridge.
He said that he and Betty will be transported by past grand marshals Kermit and Joana Wiggins during the parade and their appearance at the arena.
 “They were my first boss when I was in high school,” he said. “They owned the phone company (CTC) and rescued me from the hay fields, bucking hay for $1.25 an hour. They hired me on as a summer employee for $1.85 an hour and, man, I was on top of the world. They treated me like family, and they have always been family to us. They are two of our favorite people, so it’s a real honor to have them drive us.”


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