Feb 06

Arizona and Oklahoma take 4th and 5th Day of the Cowboy slots

Group in Senate chamber Apr 2013On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at 10:30AM, the Arizona Senate held its final vote on the National Day of the Cowboy bill, SB1139, unanimously awarding permanent status to the 4th Saturday in July as an official day to celebrate cowboy culture and pioneer heritage. Arizona Senator Gail Griffin, from Hereford, Arizona, was the bill’s sponsor. Arizona became the fourth state in history to approve the bill which first passed as a bill in the Wyoming Legislature in March 2012. In June 2012, California became the second state to pass the National Day of the Cowboy bill and New Mexico followed suit on March 4, 2013.

A posse of longtime backers of the National Day of the Cowboy effort, including representatives from Arizona’s prestigious Cowgirls Historical Foundation, John and Pat Manes from the Arizona Horsemen’s Association, NDOC Spokespersons; Kelsey Bradshaw and World Champion gun spinner Hotshot Johnny Tuscadero, America’s Western Sweetheart, Belinda Gail, Bob Lorbeer of the Long Beach Mounted Police, as well as the Director of the National Day of the Cowboy nonprofit organization, Bethany Braley and her mother, Nina Braley, all gathered with other NDOC supporters on the west steps of Arizona’s Capitol at 9:30 Wednesday morning to witness together the reading and passage of the bill.

On Thursday, April 4th, Oklahoma became the fifth state to pass the National Day of the Cowboy bill in perpetuity, thanks to Oklahoma volunteer, Ed Pewitt and to his NDOC bill sponsor, Senator Don Barrington. It is anticipated that Kansas will also pass the National Day of the Cowboy bill within the next three weeks, bringing the total to six states recognizing the day in perpetuity. The bill began as a resolution in 2005 and has since passed as a resolution in the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and many state legislatures, with Arizona being the first state body to pass it as an annual resolution in 2008. The National Day of the Cowboy flag now flies in 28 states and three other countries (United   Kingdom, Lebanon, and Canada). It has flown over the barracks of the Desert Cowboys in Iraq and Afghanistan and, in 2008, a National Day of the Cowboy flag flew to the International Space Station aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle with NASA Commander, Mark Kelly.

Kansas, Texas, Washington, and Florida are all in the running to become the 6th state to pass the National Day of the Cowboy resolution in perpetuity.  Kansas has enlisted Representative Brian Weber. In Texas, the resolution is in the hands of Senator Donna Campbell and Representative Joe Pickett. NDOC Spokesperson Tom Bass feels there is very good chance that Florida will become the first state east of the Mississippi to pass the resolution, which is very fitting since Florida was our first cattle state.

In March 2012, Wyoming took the lead in becoming the first state to award permanent status to the 4th Saturday in July as the National Day of the Cowboy. Susan Thomas is the NDOC volunteer who was able to make that happen in Wyoming, along with Senator Jim Anderson and Representative Tom Lockhart. Later that year, in June, the California Legislature also bestowed permanent status to the National Day of the Cowboy. Volunteers Larry Brady, Jan Brady, Bob Fox, Brent Slutsky, Janet Slutsky, Vi Tara, Belinda Gail and Bob Lorbeer, all worked together with Senators Gaines, Fuller and LaMalfa to achieve this milestone in California. On March 4, 2013, as a result of the efforts of Richard Beal and Senator Brian Egolf, New Mexico became the 3rd state to pass the resolution in perpetuity, recognizing the 4th Saturday in July as the official day for New Mexicans to honor their rich ranching and cowboy heritage.

Jerry Betley enlisted the support of Indiana Senator John Waterman to sponsor the NDOC resolution in Indiana, but the chairman of the committee to which it had to first be referred, Senator Alting, decided to kill the bill. Wow! This is a first!.Those of you who live in Indiana might want to give Jerry a hand by contacting Senator Alting and asking why he killed the bill in committee. Maybe you could encourage him to reconsider.

Other volunteers working to secure a sponsor in their states are Slim McNaught in South Dakota, Ray Morrell in North Dakota, Debbie Koop in Colorado, Ron Wilson and Sandie Masden in Kansas, Kerri Ellis in Idaho, and Mike Burk in Missouri. Greg Martin, of Ag Radio, also now has an NDOC sponsor for the first time in the State of Washington, Senator Sharon Brown. Since this is Washington’s first passage, it will most likely be a resolution for July 27, 2013 only, but this lays the groundwork for Washington to introduce it as a bill next year and seek permanent passage at that time.AZ State Capitol

If your state is not listed in the above and you’d like to volunteer to help, please contact info@nationaldayofthecowboy.com. Enlisting a sponsor in your state legislature is not usually a difficult or complicated process and we can guide you through it each step of the way. It never involves petitions or letter campaigns. We will send you all the information you need to move the resolution forward. Our 2013 goal is to add every state to our list of those who have awarded permanent status to the National Day of the Cowboy as a day to celebrate pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. Wouldn’t you like to see YOUR state to be among at least the first ten states to formally recognize the importance of preserving this history for now and for all generations to come?

Jul 08

Gather the Herd – 2012 NDOC Hatch Poster Is Here!

2012 National Day of the Cowboy Hatch Show Print

The Official NDOC 2012 Hatch is now in stock! “Gather the Herd”  on the 8th Annual National Day of the Cowboy Hatch Show print. Artwork for the 2012 was contributed by award winning Kansas artist, Jim Clements, and features a cowboy herding cattle. As most of you know, these posters are still made from hand-carved wood blocks and hand-cranked on a press, just as Hatch has been doing since 1879. Colors for this the newest Hatch in our series are Wyoming Sky Blue and California Tangerine. Jim Clements also contributed an image of his painting, Simple Things, to the NDOC for the 2011 Cowboy Keeper Awards.

If you’d like to order your 2012 poster, they are still just $15 each, $5.50 S&H for one poster. As always, we will have a limited number (33) hand-signed by the artist. Hand-signed posters are $25 each, $5.50 S&H for one poster while supplies last.

Don’t forget we still have some of our great NDOC Hatch posters from 2006, 08, 09 and 2010 in the Shop section of our website. email orders@nationaldayofthecowboy.com

Jul 04

2012 Campaign Summary Update

As the National Day of the Cowboy quest catches on like wildfire, and the volunteers get better and better at the campaign side of our effort, I know it gets harder for everyone to keep track of where we are in terms of resolutions and proclamations, so here it is up to July 13, 2012.

The two huge milestones in 2012 have been the passage of the NDOC resolution in perpetuity (you know, permanently) by two state legislatures. The Wyoming Legislature passed it permanently on March 13, thanks to the efforts of volunteer Susan Thomas. The California Legislature passed it permanently on June 7, with a tip of the hat to volunteers Brent Slutsky, Vi Tara, Larry Brady, Bob Fox, Janet Slutsky, Belinda Gail and Bob Lorbeer. I’ve tried to list all the others below, but if I’ve missed your state, don’t be mad at me! It’s moving pretty fast. Just send me the info again if you don’t mind, and I’ll be sure and add it here and on the campaign page as well.

  • Alabama – Hub & Kat Hubbard – Senator Brewbaker – Passed June 26, 2012
  • Arizona – Bethany Braley – Sponsor Senator Steve Pierce – Passed Feb 15, 2012
  • California – Brent Slutsky, Belinda Gail, Vi Tara – Passed CA Senate March 21, 2012.
    On June 7th,
    California became the second state to proclaim the NDOC in Perpetuity.   
  • Colorado – Jim Ratthel, Debbie Koop, Patty Helberg, John Pontius – Proclamation from Governor Hickenlooper June 11, 2012.
  • Idaho – Kerri Ellis, Kraig Sundberg – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter NDOC Proclamation April       20, 2012
  • Indiana  – Jerry Betley – Governor Mitch Daniels Resolution April 18th, 2012
  • Kansas – Ron Wilson – Governor Sam Brownback signed the NDOC Proclamation June 15.
  • Kentucky – Jim Pinson – Rep Tom McKee – NDOC Joint Resolution Ag Committee July 21.
  • Missouri – Mike Burk – Sponsor Rep Dave Schatz – Passed by the Legislature March 20.
  • Nevada – Vi Tara – Governor Sandoval proclamation July 16, 2012
  • South Dakoto – Slim McNaught – Governor Dennis Daugaard Proclamation July 13.
  • Texas – Bethany Braley – Senator Jeff Wentworth – Passed March 7, 2011 for two years.
  • Wyoming – Susan Thomas – We are proud to have Mrs. Thomas support the NDOC in Wyoming. Susan is the widow of the late WY U.S. Senator, Craig Thomas, the original      sponsor of the Cowboy Resolution. The NDOC Resolution passed in PERPETUITY March      13, 2012. Thank you Wyoming!

We’re still seeking state volunteers willing to enlist sponsors for the 2012 National Day of the Cowboy resolution in their state legislatures, or to request a proclamation from their governor. Wouldn’t it be great if this was our last year of going to state legislatures and perhaps in 2012, the U.S. Congress would make the resolution permanent at last?

If your state does not have a volunteer listed and you’d like to help, or if you’d like to help a volunteer who is already on board, please email us at info@nationaldayofthecowboy.com. It’s not a difficult or complicated process to enlist a senator or representative as a resolution sponsor in your state legislature, and it never involves petitions or letter campaigns.

Jun 11

California Makes it Happen!

IMG_6981On June 7, 2012, the California Senate voted to award permanent status to the fourth Saturday in July as the National Day of the Cowboy. The CA Senate first passed the 2012 bill March 27, but since they were asking for permanent status, the resolution had to also go to the California Assembly. As the bill was in process, some objections came in, so the CA Rules Committee had to review both the reasons for objection and the countering reasons for support. In response to the objections, many people and organizations from California and around the country, as well as from Canada, wrote letters and sent emails of support for the NDOC legislation. Also, CA Senator Gaines represented the NDOC’s point of view at the committee hearing, as did Bob Fox from the California Rodeo Association and Vi Tara of the Highway 50 Wagon Train Association.

As a result, the bill came out of the Rules Committee with only one ‘no’ vote. A few days later, it went to the Assembly floor sponsored by Representative Fiona Ma, for a vote and passed with 68 co-authors. However, since the rules committee had modfied the original bill text, the newer version had to again go back to the Senate for a final vote. It passed there late on the afternoon of Thursday, June 7.

This marks another major milestone in the effort to achieve permanent status for the National Day of the Cowboy resolution in Congress. California became only the second state in history to establish the Cowboy Day in perpetuity. Wyoming lead the way as the first state to do so on March 13, 2012. It is hoped that as more states officially establish the fourth Saturday in July as their day to celebrate cowboy culture and pioneer heritage, the United States Congress will support that by giving it pemanent status at the national level.

 

Feb 11

2012 Cowboy Keeper Award Recipients announced

Morning Lessons – Painting by Phil Beck

Five honorees garner prestigious 2012 Cowboy Keeper Award recognition

Each year since 2006, the National Day of the Cowboy 501(c)3 has selected individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to the preservation of pioneer heritage and cowboy culture, to receive its Cowboy Keeper Award. The award was conceived in support of the NDOC’s mission to increase awareness for and celebration of the National Day of the Cowboy. The esteemed recipients of the 2012 Cowboy Keeper Award are; Chris LeDoux, Cowgirls Historical Foundation, J.R. Sanders, Susan Thomas, and the Will James Society.

Idolized by rodeo fans, writing timeless songs that captured the essence and spirit of rodeo and cowboys, forever immortalized in Garth Brooks’ “Much Too Young to Feel this Damn Old,” legendary on stage for a wildly soaring energy level, legendary cowboy Chris LeDoux excelled at everything he tried. He received a horse as a boy and made up his mind to be a ridin’, ropin’ cowboy. He soon began rodeoing, winning championships early on and continuing to rodeo in high school and college, achieving fame as a rodeo rider, including 1976 World Champion Bareback Rider. When his musical star began to rise, he went toNashvilleto try his luck, where he was told “his music wouldn’t sell.” With true cowboy grit, Chris started his own record label, selling his music everywhere he could. Thirty-six albums and millions of sales later he showed the world a man who stuck with his dreams. He eventually achieved success at every level of rodeo and International acclaim as a singer/songwriter, but Chris wanted to be known best for being “a good husband and family man.”

A Gold Record recipient, member of the Pro Rodeo and Rodeo Halls of Fame, Wyoming’s Chris LeDoux was the epitome of the cowboy little buckaroos want to grow up to be. He looked you in the eye with a broad warm smile and spoke to you cowboy to cowboy. Respected for his modesty, humbleness, friendliness, and kindness, he lived to exemplify what he believed a good cowboy should be. On the road with LeDoux for years, Mark Sissell of TKO Entertainment sums Chris up, “Working with Chris was like getting up every morning and going down the road with John Wayne. The only difference was, there was no on-screen/off-screen; Chris was the same extraordinary person every day, all the time. Anyone who ever associated with Chris LeDoux ended up the better for it.”

California’s Western author, JR. Sanders, is the tireless catalyst behind the groundbreaking national Read Em Cowboy project which he developed and initiated in 2011 in support of the quest for a National Day of the Cowboy. As a result of his work, there will be at least eight Read Em Cowboy events nationwide in 2012; all focused on encouraging young people to read and write western literature and cowboy poetry while learning about pioneer history. Sanders’ deep interest in old west history is reflected in his literary articles and his books, such as “The Littlest Wrangler,’ as well as in his work as a living historian in which he regularly portrays cowboys, lawmen, and Gold Rush prospectors in creative historically correct presentations to schools, colleges, and historical societies throughout Southern California. He has worked both on-camera and behind the scenes on A&E/History Channel’s documentary series Dangerous Missions. J.R. Sanders is also an active member of the Western Writers of America, the National Day of the Cowboy, and the Wild West History Association.

Arizona’s beloved ambassadors of western heritage, the Cowgirls Historical Foundation is a non-profit organization, faithfully Saddled Up for Service.” These young women work continuously to increase public awareness around the importance of the preservation of western heritage and equestrian life style. Their initiatives are met through excellent educational programs including workshops they conduct; teaching poise, horsemanship, and public speaking skills. You may find these talented young ladies performing precision equestrian drill team demonstrations or acting in their children’s play, “Keeping Our Western Past Alive,” or you may be lucky enough to attend one of their electrifying cowboy couture fashion shows featuring collectible rhinestone studded vintage western wear from Hollywood’s glitterati age. These Cowgirls also spotlight Western Heritage by riding on beautiful vintage parade saddles; paying tribute to the past while honoring the future. They have won many awards for their parade participation, including appearances in the legendary Tournament of Roses Parade. The Cowgirls participate faithfully in numerous local, state, and national events and they lend a gracious volunteer hand at as many charity fundraising events as time and funds allow, cheerfully doing whatever needs to be done, performing hundreds of hours of community service annually.

Nevada’s Will James Society nonprofit organization promotes the legacy, literature, and art of the great cowboy and author of the American West, Will James, through the giving of full sets of his inspiring and captivating western books to public and school libraries, as well as to hospitals and members of the military, throughout the world. Will James Society members are dedicated to preserving the works and memory of James, a renowned western author and artist who won the Newbury Prize for Literature in 1927 for his most famous book, Smoky the Cowhorse. For twenty years they have faithfully hosted the annual “Will James Gather,” educating, entertaining, honouring, and fundraising through the sharing of music, western literature, cowboy poetry and story telling. They steadfastly recreate a campfire atmosphere and invite the best of story tellers and cowboy singers and writers to participate in the Gather.

The Will James Gifting Program is the Society’s way of bringing stories, written and illustrated by Will James, to communities everywhere, so young and old alike, can read about and enjoy Will’s cowboy experiences. James wrote about horses, rodeos, ranching and the cowboy way of life, as only a true cowboy can. The Will James Society has given away over 1,700 Will James books in the past five years.

Raised on a ranch inWyoming, Susan Thomas inspires and encourages young people to strive to be all that they can be through her own life work as an educator. As a cowgirl of unlimited compassion she has spent nearly four decades advocating for the rights of children with special needs. She has served and continues to serve on the Boards of numerous community organizations, including the Board of Reach for a Star Riding Academy, the Natrona County Fair Board, the Raising Readers Board and the Advisory Council, Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

Riding beside her husband, Craig, in the Cheyenne Frontier Days parade, carrying the National Day of the Cowboy flag, Susan Thomas exemplified the extraordinary cowgirl that she is. Her dedicated work as an NDOC volunteer inWyomingresulted in passage of the National Day of the Cowboy resolution intoWyominglaw onMarch 13, 2012, makingWyomingthe first state to pass the resolution in perpetuity. With this action, she graciously brought the work of her late husband, U.S. Senator Thomas, full-circle as the original sponsor of the Day of the Cowboy in 2005. As the resolution was signed by Governor Matt Mead, Susan spoke these words, “I want to thank the Legislature for their votes, their belief in the Great West and most importantly, their belief in the National Day of the Cowboy, as sponsored by Craig, and subsequently passed under his leadership in the U. S. Senate in 2005 and 2006. Your action ensures that Craig Thomas’s cowboy legacy will live on forever.” Susan Thomas has honoredWyoming, Craig’s memory, and her country through her 36 years of excellence in teaching and through her persistent efforts on behalf of establishing the National Day of the Cowboy for her fellow citizens.

The artist image selected for use in the 2012 Cowboy Keeper Award is the heartwarming painting, “Morning Lessons,” the work of Phil Beck, a renowned and gifted western artist from Arizona. Chris LeDoux, the Cowgirls Historical Foundation, J.R. Sanders, Susan Thomas, and the Will James Society, the five outstanding recipients of the 2012 Cowboy Keeper Award, have all demonstrated a powerful commitment to the preservation of pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. The National Day of the Cowboy lifts its hat high to each of these tremendously deserving honorees.

Feb 11

Five NDOC “Read Em Cowboy” Happenin’ Events

Cowgirl fun at Read Em Cowboy!

Conversations I’m involved in at western gatherings invariably include discussions around the challenges of engaging more young people in the preservation effort. Questions arise about how we can do a better job of teaching the importance of protecting museum collections, how to educate more children about the pioneer’s contribution to our culture, and how to enlist young people in carrying the flame of the cowboy’s campfire into generations to come. I believe Western author, J.R. Sanders, has hit upon a key solution to address this challenge.

It all started when J.R. went into a book store last year, looking for western books, and was sorely disappointed with how few were on the shelves. However, as any good cowboy would, J.R. devised a way to turn his initial disappointment into personal action. He approached his local Barnes & Noble bookstore with what can only be characterized as a win/win proposition, and last year, on the National Day of the Cowboy, he hosted his first ‘Read em Cowboy’ book fair for youth at the Redlands, California, Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

J.R.’s event was so successful and the kids who attended it had such a wonderful time, that this year he’s expanding it, noting that his 2012 Read em Cowboy will feature, “Nearly a dozen Western authors signing books and giving talks (including Roy and Dale’s daughter, Cheryl Rogers), a short story contest sponsored by the Western Fictioneers – with prize money being awarded, children’s authors doing readings and other activities with kids, a short story contest for yount writers, and a cowboy/cowgirl costume contest for the youngsters.” Along with the authors, there’ll be live cowboy music on Friday night by Dave Stamey and NDOC volunteer, Ms. Belinda Gail. J.R has also lined up rodeo queens, roping demonstration, raffles, cowboy vittles, and much more. His REC activiities will begin on Tuesday, July 24, with a different focus and location each evening.

Wow! It’s exciting to see the incredible potential Read Em Cowboy holds; Kids are encouraged to read and write books – western books! Kids are exposed to cowboy music and cowboy poetry! Young people will learn more about their own heritage and history and they’ll have fun doing it.

Can it get any better than that? Believe it or not, the answer is “yes” it can. J.R. and I heard from 5 more people willing to to ramrod a Read em Cowboy event in their own community on the National Day of the Cowboy (July 28, 2012). Check out our events calendar for Read Em Cowboys in Santa Clarita, California (Julie Ream), Dubois, Wyoming (June Bonasera), Spearfish, South Dakota (Francie Ganje), and Garland, Texas (Liz Lawless & Brady Wilson).

Also, Barnes & Noble has created a voucher so that anyone who uses it to make a purchase between July 28 and August 2, 2012, either in a B&N store or online (www.bn.com/bookfairs ), B&N will donate a percentage of that sale to the National Day of the Cowboy! J.R. has also created a Read em CowboyFacebook page, and you can print the B&N NDOC purchase voucher from there.

Barnes & Noble NDOC Fundraising Voucher

J.R. was thrilled with the results of his Read em Cowboy last year and we truly want to see more of them take place going forward, so if you would be interested in hosting an event like this in 2013, send J.R. or me an email and we’ll share some pointers with you as to how to approach it.

If you’ve ever heard yourself say, “Kids just aren’t interested in the cowboy anymore,” I suggest to you that our ”Read Em Cowboy” project is an excellent opportunity for YOU to personally change that mindset.

Feb 11

Wyoming Blazes a Trail!

                                          

Wyoming Makes History

Wyoming’s Governor Mead signs the National Day of the Cowboy resolution

Thanks to our good friend and NDOC volunteer, Susan Thomas, on March 13, 2012, the Wyoming State Legislature made history by becoming the first state to pass the National Day of the Cowboy Resolution in perpetuity. Henceforth, the fourth Saturday in July will forever be recognized as a day to honor one’s pioneer heritage and cowboy culture in the Cowboy State. Mrs. Thomas enlisted the support of Representative Tom Lockhart who sponsored the resolution which has now been signed into Wyoming law by Governor Matt Mead. Wyoming has also ordered a National Day of the Cowboy flag to fly over the Capitol Building in Cheyenne on the National Day of the Cowboy. Many other states have passed the resolution since Arizona first recognized it in 2008, but to date, no others have passed it in perpetuity.

Susan Thomas’ work in Wyoming has provided the perfect tipping point for the National Day of the Cowboy campaign, as it was her late husband, Craig Thomas, U.S. Senator from Wyoming, who first sponsored the Cowboy Day resolution in the United States Senate in 2005. Senator Thomas again sponsored it in 2006 and 2007. Sadly, he passed away just one month before the U.S. Senate approved it again in 2007. It is our hope that all other states will now follow Wyoming’s lead.

 

Feb 11

Help the National Day of the Cowboy succeed!

Swing Riders

Become a supporting member today and help us move closer to the goal. Consider donating something back to the NDOC from your own events (remember we’re a nonprofit too) or raffling a print for us (we’ll even send it to you). Help us find sponsors for our fundraisers. Make a tax deductible contribution to our fundraiser, donate autographed books or CDs, western memorabilia, DVDs, used tack, photographs, art, prints, gift certificates, old horse trailers: anything you think might help us raise some revenue. Donate a percentage of your eBay sales to National Day of the Cowboy (a MissionFish certified charity). Sign up for the National Day of the Cowboy News.

Musicians – Please mention in your show and your travels that the 4th Saturday in July is the National Day of the Cowboy and encourage your fans to celebrate it. Rodeo announcers, when you’re searching for something to say to fill dead air, please remind the fans that the 4th Saturday in July is the National Day of the Cowboy and we need to have them celebrate!

Feb 11

Western Mercantile

We have the NDOC 2012 Gist buckles in stock, so if you’re looking to order one, now is the time. Remember, only the first 100 buckles will be numbered.

We’re accepting orders for art quality 12X18 prints of Bev Pettit’s Moonligh Bronc image we used for all of our Hats Off to the Cowboy publicity. Bev Pettit, an Arizona photographer from Skull Valley, donated the image for our event and signed a limited number of the prints for us.

We’ve got a new batch of red, white, and blue, “Cowboy by Choice,” NDOC bumper stickers which look great on guitar cases, luggage, hat boxes, horse trailers, car and truck bumpers.

We still have raffle tickets to win the set of 5 limited edition Hatch posters ($10).

Feb 11

Cowboys Helping Kids

Cowboys Helping Kids is an organization started by SFC Russell Anderson, who has been the head wrangler of our soldiers, the Desert Cowboys, for many years. The Desert Cowboys flew the National Day of the Cowboy flag over their barracks in Iraq and Afghanistan and distinguished their group on many occasions, including Russell earning a Bronze Star. During the years they were in service, we asked to have ‘cowboy’ things sent to them, like CDs from Western Jubilee Recording, magazines and books from Western Horseman, Chronicle of the Old West subscriptions, ropes from Fast Back Ropes, and two laptops when theirs crashed. When they got to Afghanistan we worked with Congresswoman Giffords’ staff in an effort to secure a satellite dish for them so they could access the internet. In 2009, we awarded the Cowboy Keeper Award to Russell Anderson and his Desert Cowboys.

Russell is now stationed in Oklahoma and will soon retire from the military and perhaps move to a ranch in Bisbee. His current ‘giving back’ to the community project is his own creation, Cowboys Helping Kids an organization he started (and currently funds mostly from his own pocket) to work with terminally ill American kids in his capacity as a cowboy. He aims to brighten their lives while at the same time showing them cowboys are good role models. This is where Russell’s heart lives. He works to build this organization with every spare minute he has, including constantly using Facebook and promoting his cause through the websites he maintains, while all the while organizing fun events for kids to participate in.

Russell Anderson has been behind the National Day of the Cowboy 1000% since we first began emailing way back in January 2005, and he has encouraged me through many hard days to keeping the NDOC alive. It was Russell who explained to me that he had purchased a number of domain names with the word “cowboy’ in them and pointed them at the NDOC website to help get traffic to it. He keeps the NDOC logo and link on all his other websites, such as Cowboy Crew, and always notices when other sites are promoting their own NDOC events while neglecting to acknowledge our nationwide effort without even a link or our logo. He ferrets this detail out religiously and swears it totally confounds him!

Russell could use your help to further his Cowboys Helping Kids project. He creates bumper stickers, mugs and t-shirts himself to raise funds for the kids’ activities, and he and his crew also donate their time to help on kids’ projects hosted by other organizations. He is constantly working to bring awareness to the needs of many American kids while addressing those needs himself to the best of his ability and often past the limits of his resources. Check out Cowboys Helping Kids and see if there might be something you want to do to support Russell and his crew, all of whom exemplify the Cowboy Code every day of their lives.

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