• 84°

Cowboys for Kids Rodeo set for Fourth of July weekend

The Covington County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is excited to announce its 2nd Annual Cowboys for Kids Rodeo sponsored by PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.

“All of the proceeds from the rodeo will go towards helping the children we serve,” CAC Executive Director, Kaci Perry, stated. “The Covington County Child Advocacy Center is a non-profit organization that provides a child-friendly, safe environment where children who have been abused or neglected can tell their story. They can then begin the healing process, and we offer them counseling, play therapy, medical services, and advocacy services, and we try to do all that in house, at the CAC.”

This year’s Cowboys for Kids event will include two back-to-back rodeos at the Hilltop Arena, on U.S. Highway 29, north of Andalusia. The first rodeo will be on Thursday, July 4th. The second will be a 2-day rodeo on July 5th & 6th. Both rodeos are sanctioned events by the Professional Cowboys Association. “According to the PCA, there are no other sanctioned rodeos near us on this weekend, so we look forward to hosting rodeo participants from all over the southeast United States,” stated Hilltop owner, Kevin Rodgers. “Having the PCA sanction this rodeo will bring in some of the best ropers and riders that the Southeast has to offer. This will be a top notch rodeo when it comes to the quality of the cowboys and cowgirls who will be riding, and there will be a lot of local talent as well.”

Both rodeos will include bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, breakaway calf roping, team roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. Buckles will be given to the All-Around Cowboy and Cowgirl. Anyone interested in entering any of the rodeo events should contact Kevin Rodgers at Hilltop.

CAC founder and Board Chairman, Walt Merrell, is excited about what the rodeo means to the CAC, but also to the community. “We won’t be surprised to see 1,000 plus people each night at the rodeo. Not only will those folks be helping the CAC when they buy a ticket to get in the gate, but they will also put money into the local economy when they pay for meals, fuel, and hotel rooms.” Merrell added, “We’ve tried to offer the rodeo as a compliment to other Fourth of July festivities around the County. From the DAR Fourth of July parade in Andalusia Thursday morning to the fireworks shows in Andalusia and Opp, we are going to make sure rodeo goers get the complete Covington County experience.”

Merrell went on to speak about the Center itself. “Our mission at the CAC is to provide for ‘the least of these.’” These kids have already suffered so much. We want to be their cowboy, riding in to rescue them in their distress. That’s why the rodeo concept is so perfect for what we do. I’m no John Wayne… but some of the people we having working at the CAC are, and they are heroes to these kids.”

“The gates will open nightly at 6:30 and the rodeo will start each night at 7:30, but we won’t do anything until we celebrate our freedom and independence by singing the National Anthem,” Merrell added. In addition to the rodeo, kids will find entertainment in the jam packed PowerSouth KidsZone, complete with a water slide, bounce house, inflatable obstacle course, nickel dig, face painting, and more! Vendors from all over the southeast will have booths set up with everything from western wear to hand-made toys. For those that come hungry, everything from steaks to hamburgers will be readily available through the concessions and the restaurant.

If you are interested in sponsorship, a vendor booth, or offering volunteer support, please contact Kaci Perry at (334) 222-1881. Financial contributions may be sent to the Covington County Child Advocacy Center at 125 Medical Park Drive, Suite 103, Andalusia, Alabama 36420.