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Rattlesnake Rodeo accepting applications for angels

It’s been said there are angels among us and organizers of the Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo are searching for the next pair of Rodeo Angels to be among them at the rodeo.

The Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo Angels began last year, when long-time rodeo committee member Robert Boothe suggested it to the Rattlesnake Rodeo Board.

“Everyone really jumped at the idea,” Boothe said.

“I really suggested Rodeo Angels because I wanted to give back,” he said.

To qualify as a Rodeo Angel, the applicant must have an illness that negatively impacts their quality of life.

That can be anything from cancer to a chronic illness.

The committee decided there would be two Rodeo Angels each year.

To become an Angel, one must apply and the committee reviews those applications before selecting.

“I saw a lot of what other organizations were doing, and I knew that the Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo had to give back, it’s such a big event for Opp,” Boothe said.

Boothe’s idea is that publicity will help the Rodeo Angels with donations.

“Last year, we set up our Rodeo Angels with a tent, donation areas and they kept all of the proceeds,” Boothe said.

Not only that, the Rodeo Angels got the opportunity to be introduced to the crowd, were featured in the Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo program, had a designated area for donations and the privilege to meet and greet the musical entertainers..

Last year’s Rodeo Angels were Opp Elementary School student Lilly Matt and Straughn Elementary School student Kevin Crawford.

Matt, 9, has brain tumor and hydronephrosis.

Crawford, 11, has acute lymphoblastic t-cell leukemia.

Boothe said he really knew he was doing the right thing when he saw the smile on Matt’s and Crawford’s faces.

“When we got off the stage after introducing them as our Rodeo Angels, they were both grinning from ear-to-ear,” Boothe said. “That’s when I really knew.”

The Rodeo Angel “Shepherds” acted as guardians for the two children, guiding them where they wanted to go, and even participating in what they wanted to do.

Boothe hopes for a great turn out for 2018.

“I hope next year we will be more prepared with our shepherds, last year it was very new to us,” Boothe said.

“This year, the shepherds will know what to expect, having more information on rodeo activities and what the child can and cannot do.”

The Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo officials are currently looking for both of the Rodeo Angels and are actively seeking applications.

“Once we pick our Angels, we’ll announce them late February. We hope the publicity will help our Rodeo Angels get donations,” Boothe said.

Applications are available for pick-up at the Opp City Hall, WOPP, WAMI, Opp Chamber of Commerce, or J.R.’s Lawnmower Shop.

For more information contact Robert Boothe at 334-493-4545.

The 58th Annual Rattlesnake Rodeo will be March 24-25, 2018.