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ALEXANDRIA, La. – The tenderest hearts need the most comfort.
The Amicus Club of Alexandria believes that wholeheartedly. It raises funds for the St. Mary’s Residential Training School in Boyce, La., and the OLS Community Homes in Alexandria, both homes for people who have developmental disabilities.
“Our rodeo is the fundraiser for the children at St. Mary’s and for the St. Mary’s graduates who are at at OLS,” said Ann Brewer, chairwoman of the committee that produces the Amicus Club PRCA Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria.
“Our kids will be there. It’s a very special event for us.”
It’s also the only fundraiser the Amicus Club does for the two entities. After five years without, the rodeo returns in the newly renovated coliseum. With it, Brewer said, there is hope for rejuvenation.
“Because the coliseum was shut down for the remodel, we weren’t able to have the rodeo for several years,” she said. “The coliseum opened back up last January, but we couldn’t put the rodeo together in time, so we decided to have it this year.”
She hopes the fans will see that it’s well worth the wait. The committee is working closely with Dallas-based Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, a rodeo production firm that has been nominated five straight times for PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year.
Carr has been recognized for having some of the greatest animal athletes in the game, and the production team is second to none in ProRodeo.
“This will be our first time as a Pete Carr rodeo, but we’re excited about it,” Brewer said. “We know it’s going to be a good rodeo, and, most importantly, that we can raise funds for St. Mary’s and OLS.”
It’s also a time to shine. Veteran announcer Andy Stewart of will return to the microphone, and he will share the arena with entertainer John Harrison, who has been named PRCA Comedy Act of the Year four times and the Coors Man in the Can three times. He provides family-friendly entertainment that will keep fans excited throughout all three performances.
“We’ve had John before, and we love him,” Brewer said. “What’s great about having him and Andy here is that they will interact with our kids, and they just love that. It just makes everything so much better that way.”
After all, that’s the reason the Amicus Club produces the event. They not only want to raise money for the facilities, but they want to see the disabled children and disabled adults enjoy the show, too. For Brewer, it’s a way to celebrate all that St. Mary’s and OLS have to offer.
“It’s just a ‘Thank You’ to Jesus that I have healthy children, healthy grandchildren and healthy great-grandchildren,” she said.