Helping children grow and reach their full potential was the purpose of the West Point Fire Department’s and Lummus Rodeo Production’s Annual Benefit Rodeo for the Junior Auxiliary of West Point held last Friday and Saturday.
More than 1,500 spectators came out to enjoy two nights of bareback riding, calf roping, games, food and fun. The fire department and Lummus Rodeo Productions raised $4,500 for the Junior Auxiliary, $500 more than last year.
President Laura Yelverton said the Junior Auxiliary is grateful to the fire department for their work in making the fundraiser a memorable event for the kids and all its success.
“The fire department’s willingness to support our fundraising efforts makes it a great contribution for us because that keeps our work from having to be diverted into other areas,” Yelverton said. “The kids loved it.”
Emergency Management Deputy Directory Kerrie Gentry said the event also gave back to the city and county of West Point.
“The money stays in the county,” Gentry said. “All of the services are for West Point and Clay County residents.”
The rodeo opened with the Star Spangled Banner and a grand entry of all contestants, including children, who participated. Spectators then enjoyed watching bareback riding, cowboy calf roping, cowgirl breakaway roping, steer wrestling, cowgirl barrel racing and team roping. Activities for the children included a gold rush for kids four and under, a chicken chase for children four to eight, a pig scramble for children nine to 12 and a calf scramble for teens 13 to 18.
Rodeo Coordinator Luke Lummus said Lummus Rodeo Productions has been putting on rodeos in West Point for 24 years, and their goal is to make sure the entire family can come out and have a great time.
“Our big emphasis is on clean fun, family entertainment from the smallest to granddad and grandma,” Lummus said. “It’s such a family atmosphere that they’re able to turn their children loose when they get there.”
On behalf of Lummus Rodeo Productions, Lummus apologizes to anyone who may have been offended by anything the organization has done because it is not in their nature to hurt anyone intentionally, he said.
Other fundraisers planned this year to benefit the Junior Auxiliary are a community-wide garage sale and stage plays for local children. The garage sale will be held at the Mossy Oak outfitters October 2 from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Anyone interested in donating items for the sale should contact the Junior Auxiliary at 662-494-5864. Olivia the Pig will be the first of the stage plays and will be performed by all area elementary school children November 5 at Center Stage. Tickets are $5 for children and $7 for adults. Pinocchio will be the next play and will be held March 4. The plays are co-sponsored by the West Point/Clay County Arts Council.
The fire department and Lummus Rodeo Productions wants to thank all sponsors who supported and contributed to the rodeo. They also want to thank the volunteers who dedicated numerous hours to help make the rodeo a success. Special thanks also goes to Mark and Gigi Pridmore, who allowed their Eagle Ranch to be used for the fundraiser. Lummus said it wouldn’t have been possible without them and their generosity.