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WEST MONROE, La. – A year ago, Pete Carr made a commitment for himself and his rodeo production firm, Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, to help promote and give to the Cowboys Who Care Foundation.
This weekend, Carr will hand over a check for the non-profit agency founded by comedian William Lee Martin and his wife, Michele. The money was generated through season-long fundraisers organized by the Carr firm at rodeos all across the country.
“It’s an exciting time for me that we are going to make this check presentation this Saturday night,” said Carr, a foundation board member. “I’m very honored to be part of Cowboys Who Care. It’s really an awesome foundation with what they’re doing for these kids.”
The Martins established the charity to give back and to showcase a little cowboy in the lives of young people who may be suffering.
“Our sole mission is financial support, smiles and free cowboy hats for boys and girls who have cancer and other life-threatening illnesses,” Martin said.
As a board member, Carr has stayed close to the charity even beyond any monetary donations. He also gives with his time, his talents and his personality.
“We go into these hospitals and visit with these kids and their families, and we give them their hats,” Carr said. “Their faces really light up.”
That’s the reward for those willing to give. Martin said he was motivated to create the foundation when doing an internet search of children with cancer. He saw photos of children with big smiles and bald heads, so he decided to do something about it.
“In the mirror, I could see my cowboy hat, and it hit me,” Martin said. “These kids need cowboy hats. It is our belief that there is nothing more precious than a child’s smile. We have found that cowboy hats help create those beautiful smiles.”
Carr has seen those smiles. The foundation coordinates the visits with child-life specialists at children’s hospitals across the country, and cowboys volunteer their time to be part of the giving.