We started out with our hometown rodeo – The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo – in February 2017. For those of you who don’t know Ropin’ Dreams really did have it’s start at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo 15 years ago. This gave us a chance to look back at the past 15 years and where we started our “making smiles for children and their families.” Keith Martin actually came up with the name “Ropin’ Dreams” and he has guided and assisted our organization from the very beginning. It was in February of 2002 at the Super Select Sale that a group of “movers and shakers” got together to help get Ropin’ Dreams off the ground. George Strait donated a filly to go through the Super Select Sale and all proceeds would go to Ropin’ Dreams. Mark Colaw was the Horse Show chairman at the time and he, along with Dale & Donna Seagraves, worked to make the sale of the filly bring as much proceeds as possible. Lew Thompson, of H&H Livestock, purchased the filly and then donated her back to be sold again and that was the seed money that helped to get Ropin’ Dreams off the ground. In the past 15 years we have impacted over 756 children and their families in 18 different states.
We also treated 7 children and their families to a day at the rodeo; taking them to the Sunday afternoon performance and for many of them, giving them their first taste of rodeo. Each child was presented with a Ropin’ Dream’s Promise Cross necklace for a keepsake memento. We always enjoy our time with the families and they don’t realize how much they bless all of us. We also make our annual trip to the San Antonio Childrens Hospital to visit the children’s oncology floor. We do this every year, and this year we were so excited to be able to have Miss Rodeo America with us; a special treat for everyone at the hospital.
March 2017 was “get ready to put on a PRCA rodeo” time, you see Ropin’ Dreams had been approved as a PRCA rodeo to take place at the Cowboy Fellowship Arena in Jourdanton, TX on April 28 & 29, 2017. We were very blessed to have Wheeler’s Feed & Outfitters step up to be our major sponsor for the rodeo. To all of our sponsors who took a chance on a “first time rodeo,” we were and are so very grateful for their willingness to step out and support our endeavor. This is our only fundraiser and we were very proud to have United Pro Rodeo as our stock contractor who put on a fantastic show for everyone. Since it was our 15th anniversary we were happy to have some of our “Ropin’ Dreams families” come and celebrate with us. One of them–Nathan–even competed in his first Mutton Bustin’ and won his go round.
We also brought back our original “Celebrity Cowboy Golf Tournament” on April 29th at the Pleasanton Country Club; each team had a PRCA cowboy on their team. Miss Rodeo America Lisa Lageschaar was on hand to take pictures and sign autographs as well. We were also excited to welcome back our friends “Soup Bones” Chuckwagon to cook the fajita lunch for the golfers. Chairman Joel McDaniel put together a great tournament and that also helped to raise additional funding for more dreams. The first Ropin’ Dreams PRCA rodeo was completed and we are looking to making 2018 even bigger and better.
Ropin’ Dreams was once again the picked as the recipient of the Mike White Pasture Roping and Easter Egg Hunt. Mike and his wife Hannah, along with their families, have created such a great event in De Kalb and we were able to spend time with two amazing boys, Reid & Colter and their families; and hear their incredible stories of preserving and overcoming. They are true warriors and so are their sweet families. Mike has such a big heart for helping children and for that matter people in general. We are so blessed to have him and his family as part of our Ropin’ Dreams family. We could not reach all the families without his generosity!
Next on the schedule was the Cactus Jack Foundation’s PBR in Uvalde–Alex was treated to the VIP treatment from lunch with the PBR riders to shopping at Rockin R for new “duds” followed by box seats at the PBR. Alex made a big impact on everyone’s favorite barrel man Mr. Leon Coffee; as at the end of the night Leon asked Alex to sign HIS hat.
We also were able to complete our new video showcasing our Ambassador Might Ike and his family and to really tell the story of Ropin’ Dreams. Jeff Horny and Jeff Seale made such a great video for capturing some amazing times at the rodeo and golf tournament. Thank you Jeff, Jeff & Lara for all your help!
Mr. Mike White also introduced us to Mr. Tye Sturgeon, from Batesville AK. Every year he completes the “American Wish Ride” where he rides across our great country spreading joy and kindness in addition to riding for charities. This past summer he chose Ropin’ Dreams. From the time that he started in Florida to his completion in Virginia at the end of the summer, Tye raised over 7k for Ropin’ Dreams. He also was able to spread the word about Ropin’ Dreams and New Horizon Ranch along the way and introduced us to many new friends. One little girl in particular was Peyton–a six year old little girl from North Carolina–her story touched all of us and thanks to Tye, we were able to send her a Ropin’ Dreams Champion Belt Buckle.
We finished up 2017 attending the PRCA convention in Las Vegas to learn what we needed to know to improve our own PRCA rodeo in order to make it bigger and better. We have a rodeo committee of dedicated people whose passion is helping children and building the rodeo into a community event. We are already in the planning and development stage as we wrap up this year. The rodeo date is approved and will be April 27 & 28 at the Cowboy Fellowship Arena in Jourdanton, TX and the Celebrity Cowboy Golf Tournament will be held on April 21 at the Pleasanton Country Club in Pleasanton, TX. Hope to see you there!