Monday, May 9, 2011

Helena Middle School/ Women's Run






On Thursday May 5th, I worked an 8 hour shift at my job, and then headed to Bozeman where I spent the night before continuing on to Helena for a huge event called “Rodeo Day” for the 6 graders at Helena Middle School. I arrived at the school around 8 am and of all the kiddie rodeos I have attended, by far this was the biggest I have ever seen. Mrs. Janet Erickson, one of the 6th grade teachers, organizes this event. She is also a very well know barrel racer/trainer, a former Miss Rodeo Montana, and the mother of Montana PRCA Cowboy Ty Erickson.. Not surprisingly, she was great to work with and her passion for children really made this event so spectacular.
The morning started with a very talented 6th grader singing the National Anthem and another playing the fiddle. Two other 6th graders then showed off their “Jitterbug” skills. Mr. Jason Harris an inspirational cowboy and I acted as MC’s for this event, describing the various rodeo events, and their rules and regulations. It has become a tradition that the current Miss Rodeo Montana rides the “bull” which is a barrel attached to stretched ropes on each end, on which people bounce back and forth. I didn’t realize how high the bull would actually go in the air! Needless to say, I didn’t make it for the full 8 seconds and my dismount wasn’t very graceful, much to the delight of the students!
The 6th graders then got to rotate to eight different event stations so they could participate in all of the different events of rodeo and a few other special stations. My station was an autograph signing station where I signed over 100 autographs. Jade my “helper”, a sophomore from Helena High School, helped me keep the kids in line while they waited. She put large piece of white paper on the table for the kids to sign and write me a note on while they waited in line, which was a very special and thoughtful thing for her to do. I enjoyed attending such a fun event for the 6th graders of Helena Middle School and special thanks go to Mrs. Janet Erickson for all the hard work she puts into this annual event!
After a night of rest it was on to Billings for their 30th Annual Women’s Run. This event raises money for various women’s groups in Billings. I was invited to participate with the Montana Beef Council’s team. Even though I am from Billings, this was my first time taking part in this event and all I can say is WOW! A record-breaking 8,500 women participated in this event, either running or walking in the 2 or 5-mile race. I did the 2 mile race with the members of the Montana Beef Council. Although we didn’t race, we walked and talked while getting to know each other. It was really great to see that many women come out to support a great cause and I was honored to be a part of it. Just as a note of interest, there was a 99-year-old woman who checked off one more item on her “bucket list”, having completed the two mile portion.
Next, I’m off to Bozeman to attend the Montana State Special Olympics. This should be a wonderful experience and one which I am really looking forward to!
Until next time,
Lorissa Harris

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