The Caleb Larson Memorial Foundation holds tenth rodeo fundraiser
The tenth annual Memorial Ranch Rodeo for the Caleb Larson Foundation Cowbin’ for the Kids will take place this weekend at the Young County Arena with a multitude of events.
The Caleb Larson Foundation nonprofit was started by Brandi Larson in 2008 as a memorial for her son, Caleb Larson, who was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma childhood cancer at the age of 3. Only six months after his diagnosis, Caleb died from the cancer and with support from family and friends, Larson’s mother decided to raise money for research and clinical trials for childhood cancer.
“His parents started this foundation in his honor and that is just a way to remember him every year and since then it has grown and we do several events each year, but it all started in Caleb’s honor,” Caleb Larson Foundation volunteer Cortney Trammell said.
Trammell whose son McCrae Trammell was also diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 10 days old, is a part of the organization and grew up with Larson in Graford.
“Caleb’s mom and I have been lifelong friends, I mean I remember getting mad at her when I was in first grade and she was in fourth grade at Graford because she broke her leg on the merry-go-round,” Trammell said. “We have been friends since elementary school and then we were college roommates together at Texas Tech and our sons both have neuroblastoma.”
Supporting the cause
With a team of volunteers and supporters, the Caleb Larson Foundation has led multiple events to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer and this weekend is one of those events. Some of that support not only help with research, but helps those going into fields of medicine.
“We do a small scholarship for kiddos who are trying to go into oncology and whether that is to be a nurse or a doctor or something that is going to help oncology patients and last year we did $1,000 and it’s not a big scholarship, but it is something,” she said. “We donated $40,000 back to cancer research and then we do retain a little bit of the funds back to help the kids.”
Trammell said last year there was a family they were helping that was having trouble paying rent because with the mother in the hospital their income was halved. The organization helps with day to day expenses, funeral expenses, whatever families need who have children battling cancer and without making a dime.
“Everybody that has anything to do with this organization is a volunteer,” Trammell said. “We have the people who are coming in to do our national sorting with RSNC and Cinch and the whole organization is volunteering their time.”
One local organization that had donated yearly to the Caleb Larson Memorial is the Graham Kiwanis Club and Rick Pennycuff, who have donated a trailer to the organization every year to be auctioned for a fundraiser.
Bigger and better
Trammell’s goal this year is to donate $75,000 to cancer research and help families who have children with cancer. The organization used to just be for awareness and support of neuroblastoma research and now encompasses all childhood cancers.
This will be the first year that the organization will be an officially sanctioned sorting event. Trammell said she is excited to see the event make its first leap in the national sorting and hopes more teams show up.
“They are expecting 600 teams on Saturday and 600 teams on Sunday,” Trammell said. “Last year we did it and it was our first time and we had 600 teams and we weren’t a sanctioned event, but this time it is on the national website and national database and we are pulling from Oklahoma, New Mexico and all over Texas.”
The event kicks-off Tuesday with a silent auction at 6 p.m. and vendor booths open at the Young County Arena. The mutton bustin’ begins thirty minutes after at 6:30 p.m. with books opening at 5 p.m.
The mutton bustin’ will have two division for numbers less that 35 and numbers 36-60.The event will be $20 per entrant and buckles will be awarded to the division winners.
At 7:15 p.m. the organization will have a honorary release of balloons and at 7:30 p.m. the ranch and rodeo begins. The cost for the event is $1,000 for a five man team with 70 percent payback and a saddle awarded to the top hand and buckles to the top team.
As the event moves into Saturday things being at 10 a.m. with Cinch RSNC (Ranch Sorting National Championship) sanctioned ranch sorting with books opening at 9 a.m. There will be a 50 percent payback in all classes and buckles awarded.
The cost for entry into the sorting for all level all draw handicap, masters #10 handicap, mixed #13 and for #8 handicap is $30. For beginners ranch hand (1 cap sorter) is $25, beginner youth (experience rider gate) is $15/free.
As the event moves into its final day Sunday things being at 10 a.m. with Cinch RSNC (Ranch Sorting National Championship) sanctioned ranch sorting with books opening at 9 a.m.
The cost for entry on Sunday for #11 rookie handicap (two cap sorter), all level all draw handicap, #10 handicap, #6 handicap with #4 incentive and #14 ranch hand is $30.
For a description of each class visit http://www.rsnc.us/rsnc-rulebook/.
To donate to the organization outside of events, checks can be made out to Cowboyin’ for the Kids or the Caleb Larson Memorial and sent to 3396 South Hwy 281, Mineral Wells, 76067. For more information on the show contact Trammell at 940-452-1191.