Page Page I may have to find residency in Georgia with how much I am traveling there! Statesboro definitely made me feel like I was at home with the welcoming staff at the Spring Hill Inn and Suites, along with the community as a whole. I started my week off right doing sponsor visits around town and meeting the people who support the rodeo. After visiting with a few sponsors in the morning, KC from KC Lashes did my eyelashes so I would be bright-eyed all week! The Statesboro Kiwanis Club Rodeo is a fundraiser for the children in the community and it was a truly special experience going to after school programs throughout the week and telling them about both the rodeo and my platform; “Mentoring Matters”. All the kids were excited for the rodeo and learned how they can be a superhero (mentor) by encouraging others to reach their goals. Meeting Freedom, the bald eagle, and other wildlife animals at the Georgia Southern wildlife refugee has made my top five memories of the year! When I was younger at the “birds of prey” shows, I always thought they were putting the birds on display for me to pick which one I wanted, and I always chose the bald eagle! Day in and day out, the Statesboro Kiwanis Club kept me busy meeting and visiting people and unique places in the area. The rodeo does all sorts of events in the community leading to the rodeo. There was a ribbon cutting, a day of recognition for the rodeo, and a day at the local western general store, Anderson’s, where we had a “guess the weight of the bull”! A few of the unique places we ate at was Vandy’s, a BBQ place that’s an iconic must stop restaurant in downtown Statesboro and Bull and Barrel, a steak house that had recently opened downtown. Both places did not disappoint. On Friday before the rodeo, Kiwanis President Ashley and I stopped by Sno in the Boro and picked up sno cones to surprise the rodeo and Kiwanis members prepping for the rodeo. We had two nights of SOLD OUT rodeo. Friday and Saturday night Rob Gann, the rodeo clown, and I were joined by a young lady named Ireland who has been living with a blood condition but is determined to live her life to the fullest! She has been a part of the rodeo for 5 years now and I was honored to get to spend time with her this weekend. Saturday before the rodeo, Rob and I cut loose a little and had a foot race after the gold rush. I’m not saying he won- but I want a rematch! All the advance tickets were sold before each performance began. After saying bye to my new Statesboro family, I was off to Wetumpka, Alabama for the FFA Alumni Rodeo.
Once arriving at my home for the week with Jamie, Ricky and Dani Loeb, I knew I was going to have a fun filled week. Dani is the first person from the state of Alabama to make the U.S Ski Team in Ariel skiing, and she’s only 19! Dani is from the Wetumpka area and joined in with school visits where we talked to kids about rodeo and shared a combination of our stories. Dani was told several times that she wouldn’t make it to where she is today because of where her athletic career began, as a gymnast, not an Ariel skier. However, she continued to work hard and is achieving the goals she has set. While talking to the kids about our stories, we worked in how I am the first generation cowgirl in my family thanks to the mentors in my life, and that no matter what your dream, goal or aspirations in life are, you can achieve it by being dedicated along with the importance of encouraging others. Dani and I did this all week and even got a boat ride in during some down time and saw a wild bald eagle nesting! During the rodeo Dani was a part of the famous TJ Williams specialty acts and recognized during the grand opening. Thank you to Sid McKissick for running around and putting up with Dani and me cutting up during rodeo week! Between the last two weeks, I have met and made some amazing people and I am honored to call them my friends now.
I am home in North Alabama and I am getting ready for the Attalla rodeo along with my “home-town” rodeo, the Limestone Sheriffs Rodeo! Keep an eye out on my Instagram and Facebook for pictures and real time updates on my travels!