Dust off your cowboy hats and boots and get ready to saddle up. This weekend promises to be action packed as two rodeos roll into town.
The 25th annual Shady Dale Rodeo makes its way to Shady Dale on Friday and Saturday while there will be a fundraiser rodeo in Mansfield on Saturday.
Shady Dale Rodeo
Rodeo fans can enjoy two days of professional rodeo action as the Professional Cowboy Association visits Shady Dale where competitors will compete for $20,000 in prize money.
The Obre Rodeo Company will provide the rodeo-competition livestock, and events will include bare-back and saddle-bronc riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and team roping and world championship bull riding.
Friday night is family night. The activities will begin at 8 p.m. All children age 10 and under get in free. One of the highlights for children will be the calf scramble. Children, ages 6 to 12, will be able to wrangle with calves.
New this year is the Child Identification Program (CHIPS), which will allow parents to obtain critical information including DNA from their children to keep handy in the event of an emergency.
Saturday's events kick off at 9 a.m. with the Shady Dale Rodeo Roundup Festival entertaining rodeo fans with music, various concessions and plenty of vendors. A parade begins at 3 p.m. leading up to the rodeo events starting at 8 p.m.
This year's specialty act is the "Lone Indian Chief" show that showcases a combination of American culture and roman riding culminating with a three-horse team jumping through rings of fire.
All the proceeds from ticket sales and concessions will go toward charity including the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the Shrine Burn Hospital, the York Rite Eye Foundation, the Masonic Children's Hospital and private scholarships.
Several sponsors from the community came forward to lend financial support including Hooper Trailer Sales, Ginn Motor Company, the McDonough RV Center, Don Heaton Quality Cabinets and McIntosh Bank.
The rodeo is produced by the Masonic Lodges of Jasper County and tickets are $15 at the door. Parking is free.
Samuel Moore Fundraiser
On October 16, 2007, local residents Mike and Shannon Moore welcomed their first child to the world. Samuel Moore was born prematurely, with underdeveloped lungs and Down Syndrome.
Since his birth, Samuel has undergone surgery to correct a blockage in his stomach and intestine and to repair a hole in his heart. Through it all, Shannon, a fifth grade teacher, and Mike, who works for Snapping Shoals EMC, have been by his side.
"They are two of the strongest people I have ever met," close friend Jennifer Mercer said. "Mike has been there [hospital] so much, he sleeps there sometimes."
Mercer and a group of local supporters have put together a rodeo that will take place at Vincent & Beth Berg's Arena at 23529 Ga. Highway 11 North, Mansfield, Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. According to her, Mike is an avid rodeo enthusiast and the whole family is involved in horseback riding.
Mercer hopes to raise money to offset some of the family's medical expenses. Shannon took a leave of absence at the end of last school year. She is now able to spend as much times as needed with her newborn as school is out for the summer. Mike works full time while still spending hours at the hospital.
In March, Samuel came home for four days only to be airlifted back to the hospital after he went into respiratory distress. Doctors found a narrowed airway and inserted a tracheotomy to aid his breathing, and the infant has been in the intensive care unit at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta since.
The events include team roping, an auction, a junior rodeo and pony rides for the children. There will be food including plenty of baked goodies from a bake sale. Those wishing to attend are urged to bring a lawn chair and sun screen.
The Moores hope they can bring Samuel home soon. To do that, Samuel will need a 24-hour nurse and various medical machines to monitor and regulate his condition away from the hospital.
"We hope this will help the family as they continue to get large medical bills," Mercer said. "Insurance covers a lot but there is a cap. Hopefully this will help. It's about food, fun and fellowship and God has been their support."