Challenge Rodeo brings community together

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brandon Valle
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
The Cheyenne and F.E. Warren communities have volunteered their time and efforts to put on the Challenge Rodeo during Cheyenne Frontier Days.

"The Challenge Rodeo is a CFD event in which children with special needs have the opportunity to participate in several modified western cowboy activities in the CFD stadium," said Lt. Cmdr. Chad Tidwell, Navy Operational Support Center Cheyenne commanding officer. "The rodeo is supported by many volunteers from the community and military dedicated to bringing smiles to the faces of these incredible kids."

The Challenge Rodeo is held two days during the week of CFD before the actual rodeo begins. This year's rodeo ran July 24 and July 25.

For the past four years, the NOSC has supported the event by sending volunteers on one of its two days and this year the Navy sent support on the second day.

"[The Challenge Rodeo] is the one event the sailors enjoy more than any other," Tidwell said. "We march in all the parades and participate in a pancake breakfast, but there is something special, something extremely special in helping out with the Challenge Rodeo. It is very rewarding."

Tidwell has helped with the Challenge Rodeo each year that he was the commanding officer at the NOSC.

"On a personal level, seeing those kids, who don't always have much hope, out there with their smiling faces and enjoying life helps put my own life into perspective," he said.
More than 10 sailors participated in this year's event, helping the children perform modified western activities, including steer roping, horseback riding and barrel racing..

"I really liked the horseback riding," said Jaden Kinnison, 6, a participant during the event.

A total of 46 children took part in this year's rodeo, 24 the first day and 22 the second.

"The challenge Rodeo stands out because it is an opportunity to make a difference and allow the kids feel significant," said Johnathan Booton, NOSC Cheyenne Hospital Man first class.