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Cowboy Christmas for Kids has a weekend full of rodeo action to raise money for children in need in the Llano Independent School District. The third-year nonprofit hopes to rope in $50,000 in donations for its community mission. Events are Friday-Sunday, Oct. 13-15, at the John L. Kuykendall Arena, 2200 RR 152 West in Llano.

Cowboy Christmas for Kids board member and Llano County Commissioner Jerry Don Moss said the money goal should be enough brighten spirits over the holidays.

“When you’ve got a little kid thinking about wanting to eat or wanting a pair of shoes or a pair of pants instead of a toy, it kind of pulls at your heartstrings a little bit,” he told DailyTrib.com. “Every little kid wants something for Christmas.”

Joe Freeman started the fundraiser in 2020 after reading a local newspaper’s letters to Santa from children, many of whom asked for basic needs rather than toys.

“Within those many letters were a disturbing number of youngsters who asked Santa for things that so many of us take for granted every day,” reads an excerpt from a Cowboy Christmas for Kids media release. “Socks, shoes, clothes, and even food.”

The nonprofit raised $30,000 in 2022. It coordinates with Llano ISD counselors, teachers, nurses, and administrators to determine how best to distribute the funds among students in need.

Rodeo winners this weekend will receive prize money, but all excess proceeds will go directly to the Cowboy Christmas for Kids program.

Action includes:

  • Barrel racing — Friday at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (exhibition time slots from 3-4 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m.) and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Team roping — Sunday at noon (books open at 11 a.m.); 12 slide events begin sometime after 4 p.m.

Donations may be made by cash or check at the event or online via the Venmo money-sharing app using @CCFKLLANO. Cowboy Christmas for Kids is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

dakota@thepicayune.com