Ranch Rodeo, Sheriff’s Posse donate to CASA, Make a Wish
By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor
May 6, 2007 - Although cowboys were named the winners of the Sulphur Springs Ranch Rodeo held last month, the children served by Lake Country Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children were by far the biggest winner.
The event generated enough funds that Susan Lennon, production manager for SSRR, was able to present Lake Country CASA Executive Director Gina Law a $5,000 check for the agency.
�This donation is also the biggest donation to date we have been able to give to CASA,� Lennon said.
And, SSRR isn’t done yet. They’re still tabulating the proceeds and other monetary factors, but rest assured the remaining proceeds will benefit the Make A Wish Foundation, to help North Texas children who have battled life-threatening illnesses achieve their hearts’ desires in one giant wish.
Lennon said that once all proceeds and donations are tallied, they anticipate having enough funding so that Make a Wish can grant a wish to at least one are child who is or has been suffering from a life-threatening illness.
The donations won’t end there, however. Hopkins County Sheriff’s Posse, which provides security for events such as rodeos including the Ranch Rodeo, Tuesday surprised both the Make A Wish Foundation and Lake Country CASA with a donation of their own.
The Sheriff’s Posse doesn’t charge for its services, but normally will accept donations to help with costs and projects throughout the year. When they were presented a donation for their assistance at Sulphur Springs Ranch Rodeo, the members took a vote and decided the $400 would be better put to use by the two agencies assisted by Ranch Rodeo. So they split the amount evenly between CASA and Make A Wish, and presented representatives from each with a $200 check Wednesday afternoon.
�Hopkins County Sheriff�s Posse is a self supporting organization. We get no tax money. All of our services are voluntary. We get no pay, however, we do accept donations. ... We received a $400 donation from Sulphur Springs Ranch Rodeo. It was decided by the membership that we�d donate it, split equal right to Make A Wish and CASA,� Posse Capt. Roger �Tex� Maynard said.
�It�s a way for us to give back to the community,� said Posse Sgt. Murriel Chester.
�We do not get to do this often but every once in a while we�re able to give to a worthy cause like this. It�s well worth it to help,� Posse Sgt. Bill Allan said.
Law said those funds will be designated for the children of Hopkins County either to help children with an extra need or volunteers needs at CASA.
�Law enforcement along with the sheriff�s posse members often in their duties often have occasion to walk in on some of the situations and know the homes that need intervention or help. So they know the significance of this for those children,� said Law, after Maynard noted that of the dozen Posse members on the roster about half of them are certified law enforcement officers. �This is wonderful. We�re most appreciative and thankful to the Sheriff�s Posse .�
Make A Wish officials said they too intended to make sure the funds that the Sheriff’s Posse donated are used to help grant a wish in the area to help children lift children up in “their darkest times” giving them hope.
�When you see that sparkle in their eyes you know its well worth it,� Kellye Davis with Make A Wish said.
Of course, the SSRR wouldn’t go off without the 10 willing cowboy teams who competed and those who participated by attending and taking part in SSRR.
�I was told by the staff of the Civic Center that this rodeo had the highest attendance of any rodeo event held there,� Lennon said.
Champions Bar SR ranch out of Broken Bow, Okla., went home with the championship title, while Rodey Wilson of Triangle Cattle of Wildarado was named the Top Hand and his ride “Bootie Mama” was named Top Horse at the conclusion of SSRR.
Lennon also noted that the fun event wouldn’t have had near the impact for the recipient agencies without sponsors and the many families and fans who bought tickets and filled stands.
She noted that thanks in part to a grant from Texas Department of Agriculture, they also were able to gauge feedback. They provided cards which were distributed randomly around the stadium. Of the 170 which she had reviewed earlier this week, only one was negative, and that from a child whose parents took the family to the rodeo instead of allowing them to stay home and watch television.