A rodeo in the works for three decades, with all proceeds funding local first responders. Friday night was the first night of the 30th Annual Ardmore Police and Fire Rodeo.
Hundreds of people filled the stands as they came out to support their first responders.
“This is probably the biggest event we’ve had that helps first responders be able to do their job,” said Ardmore Police Chief Jereme Robison.
All proceeds benefit the Ardmore Police Department and Ardmore Volunteer Fire Department. “We split if 50/50. Police get half, firefighters get half. So it’s huge for us to be able to get equipment,” Chief Robison said.
He said the police would use the funds for much-needed equipment for the reserve officer program. However, he argued that money is even more essential for the fire service.
“It really benefits the fire service a lot because here in Ardmore it’s a volunteer association,” Chief Robison said.
Dustin Ward, volunteer firefighter and EMA director, looked at the growing crowd and said, “It’s nice to see them. They provide us with this money so they can better serve them when they need to call 911.”
It was a supportive playground, motivating volunteer firefighters like Ward to continue providing essential services at no cost.
“We’re here to do this because we love our community,” Ward said.
Chief Robison added: “When you have a supportive community, it’s much easier to get out there and do your job.”
This is the first full-capacity rodeo the departments have held in the past two years, due to COVID. They say without a rodeo during COVID, donations were slim, which makes this year’s fundraiser all the more impactful.
Saturday night is the last night of the rodeo. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the rodeo begins at 8:00 p.m. For more information on ticket prices, click on here.