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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Cowboy Classic returns

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Rebecca Throop takes a swing from a saddle during one of the special events.
SIKESTON - As the 53rd Annual Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo approaches, along with it comes the 2nd Annual Cowboy/Cowgirl Classic at the Bootheel Golf Club.

Health Facilities Rehab will once again sponsor the event -- a golf scramble in which the proceeds benefit the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund (JCCF).

The tournament is a 3-person scramble who will be paired with one rodeo contestant, personality or clown. Entry fee is $200 per team, which includes golf fees, on course beverages, plus awards, lunch and a rodeo ticket for Friday night's performance.

Special events will be putting with a branding iron, driving from a saddle and roping from a cart.

In it's inaugural year last August, the tournament was considered a rousing success, so bringing it back this year was a no-brainer.

"It was tremendous last year," said Bootheel Golf Club pro Jeff Ketterman. "When the Hooters Tour decided not to come back this summer, Health Facilities jumped in and picked this thing up. Last year was the first year and it was very successful. It's a great cause."

The cause is well-known around rodeo circles but perhaps not so much to the casual rodeo fan.

Justin Boot Company formed a partnership with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) in 1989 to establish the JCCF, which is run out of the PRCA office in Colorado Springs, Col.

Unlike many charitable organizations, JCCF is a non-profit charity organization which dedicates 100 percent of its funds to the rodeo contestants.

Last year's Cowboy/Cowgirl Classic raised $6,000 for the fund. The fund itself has raised over $3 million since it's inception.

Ketterman said one of the big draws for locals is the chance to meet and play with famous rodeo personalities such as Rick Young, a renowned rodeo clown.

"The people of Sikeston always look forward to the rodeo and anything associated with it, and they're really pleased to participate in," said Ketterman. "The turnout was good for the first year. We had about 80 players. The turnout's going to be as good if not better this year. Rick Young is playing again this year and he's always a good draw. People always want to play with him. We're looking forward to another successful event."

Doug Olle, an athletic trainer who works for Justin Boot Company and sports medicine department, said Sikeston's close-knit community makes the trip from Texas worthwhile for him.

"It's a great way of getting the rodeo personnel with the community," said Olle. "All of us with the rodeo try to give back to the community. It's like a big family. This is my fourth year coming back to Sikeston and it's a great family and it's a great way of getting everybody involved. For the first year they had it, I thought it was wonderful. This year it ought to be that much bigger and better. You get businessmen out there and lot of them don't know rodeo personalities and so they get a chance of seeing the best in our business. It's just a great feeling."

Cindi Schonholtz, program manager for the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, said the difference between this golf scramble and other fund raisers around the country is Health Facilities Rehab's involvement.

"It is done across the country and there are a lot of golf tournaments that raise money for the crisis fund, but this one is unique in the fact that it is Health Facilities Rehab that's putting it on," said Schonholtz. "Normally it's a rodeo committee or something like that. It's a big step for those guys to take and that's appreciated that they take the time out to put on a fun event while raising awareness for the fund.

"It was such a success last year that they decided to do it again this year. I think it was great publicity for the fund, and there was money raised for the fund, and a lot of people had a good time also. It was very well received and it did raise a substantial amount of money for the crisis fund."

The Health Facilities Rehab Cowboy/Cowgirl Classic will start on Friday, Aug. 12 with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Deadline for entering the tournament is Thursday, Aug. 11 by noon.

The 53rd Annual Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo will start on Wednesday and will run through Saturday.