• January 27, 2022
 Legends help to make Sun Bowl Happen

The Sun Bowl Association announced on Tuesday, Dec. 7 that current Mayor and former Title Sponsor Oscar Leeser, along with longtime volunteer Tomi Rystad are the 2021 Legends of the Sun Bowl for the 88th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.

Legends help to make Sun Bowl Happen

The Sun Bowl Association announced on Tuesday, Dec. 7 that current Mayor and former Title Sponsor Oscar Leeser, along with longtime volunteer Tomi Rystad are the 2021 Legends of the Sun Bowl for the 88th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.

Oscar Leeser, owner of Hyundai of El Paso, had been the title sponsor of the Sun Bowl football game for nine years (2010-2018) before becoming the title sponsor of the Sun Bowl Thanksgiving Parade in 2019 and 2020.

“Mayor Oscar Leeser has helped us out in more ways than just the title sponsorship and has always found ways to support the Sun Bowl Association,” said Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “When he jumped on board as the title sponsor of the Sun Bowl Parade, we knew that one day, we needed to induct him as a Legend of the Sun Bowl.”

Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso helped the Sun Bowl Association with an 11-year partnership that made it possible to put on a historic college football game and host a wonderful pregame party, as well as helping to provide the support needed to build amazing floats and other resources that assist in making this 85-year event such a great success. 

Hyundai of El Paso was established in 2001 as a family run business and is still thriving 20-years later.

“It was a true honor for Hyundai of El Paso to be the title sponsor of the Sun Bowl for all those years,” Mayor Leeser said. “There could not be a better place other than El Paso to bring visitors to. El Paso truly has everything from diverse cuisines to beautiful weather to one-of-a-kind shopping and we are grateful to have helped many others experience it all.”

The second inductee as a Legend of the Sun Bowl is Provisions Volunteer Tomi Rystad, who becomes the first woman to ever be inducted as a Legend of the Sun Bowl. Mrs. Rystad is in her 40th year as one of the leaders of the Provisions Committee and has made this a family affair as her husband volunteered for many years in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s while her children and grandchildren are currently helping out as well.

“Without passionate people like Tomi Rystad and her family, we could not provide the best hospitality in the bowl business,” Olivas said.  “Tomi Rystad has really taught her family what it means to be committed and we are grateful for their commitment to the Sun Bowl Association.”

This year marks the 40th anniversary of something that began as a favor to a friend and has grown into an annual event for the Rystad family. They have joined countless others in making their own special contribution to what the Sun Bowl is known for, its hospitality.

“This is such an honor,” Rystad said. “A special thank you to Bernie [Olivas] and John Folmer for this gift and for being the first woman nominated. We really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into when we first started doing this but to see our family grow with the Sun Bowl has really been a joy of my life.”

Tomi’s son, Allen, is now the head of the Provisions committee and is guided gracefully by his mother.  The Provisions Committees that are seen all across the bowl industry, would not exist without the vision and commitment of Tomi Rystad and here family.

The 88th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl will feature a team from the ACC taking on a team from the Pac-12 in Sun Bowl Stadium on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 with kickoff set for 10 a.m. (MT).   The Legends of the Sun Bowl will be honored during pregame of this year’s game.

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