Valdosta Daily Times

April 6, 2013

Young riders saddle up for Ride for Life Rodeo

Quinten Plummer
The Valdosta Daily Times

HAHIRA — A group of young cowpokes will get a chance to forget about an under-reported war with a cell destroying disease as they suit up today for a series of rodeo games during the second annual Ride for Life Rodeo at KB Horse Camp this afternoon.

Most anyone can explain to you the significance behind pink ribbons, but the gold ones are just as important, if not more, than the symbol for breast cancer awareness, according to horse camp owner Kim McGhee. Gold ribbons seek to bring awareness to childhood cancer, much like today’s charity rodeo at the camp. “This rodeo is for all of the kids fighting cancer here in Lowndes and the surrounding areas,” said McGhee. “They’ll be the rodeo contestants for today, and their brothers and sisters will ride on behalf of the children who have passed.”

There’ll be barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying for the participants and even roping events for  advanced riders, McGhee said. The organization will hold an auction after the rodeo to help raise a bit of money for the families, according to McGhee who said the items up for auction range from cowboy hats and gift certificates to horse brushes and boots.

The idea for the benefit emerged a few years back, when McGhee met Savannah Dallas, now seven, McGhee said. Dallas’ passion for horses and life resonated with McGhee, while the little girl’s battle with cancer tugged at the heart of the camp owner and mother of a young son.

The goal, at first, was just to have Savannah out at the horse camp to divert her worries from her treatments, according to McGhee. From there, the camp started helping Savannah’s family spread awareness about childhood cancer, McGhee said. “We really want to be a light in the world and function as Jesus’ hands and feet,” said McGhee. “The main thing is make sure people understand that the gold ribbons symbolize childhood cancer awareness. There are a lot more kids in our area that have cancer that not many people know about. And there are a number of our kids we’ve had to watch be buried.”

To learn more about KB Horse Camps and its programs and how you can help, visit the organization’s website at KBHorseCamp.com. You may also contact the camp by phone at 229-794-5275 or  229-539-2933.