LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - On Friday, the Angelina County Fair hosted its first ever livestock showcase for kids with special needs. The Reach For The Stars livestock showcase gave the kids the chance to show animals with the help of volunteers and a “show buddy”.
“These kids are so excited to be here," said coordinator Karen Stafford. "We’re so grateful to have so many 4-H and FFA buddies and they’re all excited to meet their exhibitors.”
Exhibitors like Owen Quarles want to show their community they can do things other kids can do, despite the obstacles they face.
“He was born deaf and he does have some vision problems, but he’s able to see and able to hear just like you and me," Owen’s mom Christy said. "He’s a little unbalanced in walking, some obstacles we have to be careful stepping over or around. But pretty much he just wants to be like everyone else.”
Owen’s mom says something as simple as letting these kids walk in front of an audience gives them the confidence to get more involved in other activities.
“There’s not a lot of stuff for special needs," Quarles said. "This is something out of the ordinary that’s not a sport that he may or may not be able to play, and so we want to see if this is something we want to learn about for him to be able to show an animal one day.”
“That’s why a lot of them are excited to be here today, and then we’re hoping some of them will eventually take the opportunity to maybe join 4-H and maybe come back and maybe come back and join a rabbit or something next year,” Stafford said.
“With all these volunteers coming together, just to make our little kids feel special, that makes us feel proud,” Quarles said.
Event coordinators say the Reach For The Stars showcase will now be a permanent part of the Angelina County Fair