Rodeo to aid burn victims

A popular event returns with some new twists.


"We added these events this year as a way to change things up. It's such good entertainment for the family," said Dawn Gantt, the development director for the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation, which will be the beneficiary of the 7th annual Rodeo Nights tonight through Saturday at the Columbia County Fairgrounds.

New attractions include buck-a-beer night tonight with $1 beer all night; heroes night on Friday with public service personnel such as firefighters, police officers and military getting in free with a valid ID, and the whippersnapper stampede on Saturday.

The Saturday event will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and will give children the opportunity to have a closer look at the animals in the rodeo. There will be a calf scramble for the children to get in the arena and try to take a ribbon off a calf's tail. Also, there will be carnival games, and the chance to win to a Nintendo 3DS Gaming System.

Events during the three-night rodeo include barrel racing, bull riding and team roping.

The rodeo is one of the burn foundation's largest fundraisers, bringing in about $20,000 according to Gantt.

Money goes toward the foundation's mission of services for burn victims and their families. The foundation has a 50-bed lodging facility called the Jeffrey Vaden Chavis House at the Shirley Badke Retreat near Doctors Hospital.

Also, the foundation provides some transportation and helps with medication and pressure garments for burn victims.

If you go

WHAT: 7th annual Rodeo Nights

WHEN: Today-Saturday; gates open for the rodeo at 5:30 p.m. with the rodeo starting at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Columbia County Fairgrounds, (Interstate 20 to exit 190: north to Columbia Road; turn left, fairgrounds 2.5 miles on left)

COST: Tickets are $8 for children and $14 for adults at the gate. Children under 5 years old are admitted free.

LEARN MORE: 800-650-2876,