LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Every rodeo has cowboys, barrel racing, and bulls, but the Angelina Benefit Rodeo is bigger than all that. Since its conception decades ago - rodeos leaders have been committed to helping the community.
There's a higher purpose for every aspect of the rodeo - The community.
"Since the day it was started its always been for something, someone or some cause," said Mike Mathis, Rodeo Coordinator.
Proceeds from tickets, concessions,the truck raffle all add up in a big way. Plus, rodeo sponsors come back year after year.
"Banner sponsors, shootgate sponsors, we have nightly sponsors, we have a special events room," said Nathan Gann, Lion's Club President.
When you put it all together - the community benefits.
"For our size community this is the largest rodeo in the country this weekend," said Gann.
The Lufkin State Supported Living Center's Volunteer Services has become a major recipient of the rodeo's proceeds. Lynn Hopper - the center's Director of Community Relations - says the funds are only a part of what they get out of the rodeo each year.
"The public awareness that we're out here. The people we serve are really unique and wonderful. We get to spotlight that every night at the rodeo," said Lynn Hopper, Lufkin State Supported Living Center's Dir. of Community Relations.
The 280 member strong Lufkin Lion's Club hosts the rodeo every year. They know that the center is a worthwhile cause for East Texas.
"It's important that we keep this place in Lufkin and Angelina County because of the economic impact their salaries have on our community," said Gann.
A big chunk of the proceeds go back to the rodeo's home: the Expo Center. Allowing this place to be the future home of many more rodeos to come.
"There's been several hundred thousand dollars that have gone to have buildings supported, maintained it and make it the center of the community," said Mathis.
So remember it's not just about cowboy hats, and spurs the Angelina Benefit Rodeo has a bigger picture in mind- a stronger community.