Five years ago, a local event was started to raise awareness and money to benefit the visually impaired children in the community. This year, the "Ridin' for Cash Bull Bash" is once again gearing up and will take place Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Nolan County Coliseum. The "Bull Bash" was incepted by Matt and Annie Miles, whose oldest son Laramie Cash Miles was born with Septo-Optic Nerve Dysplasia. A person with this condition has a minimized optic nerve which prohibits the transfer of information from his eyes to his brain to process, resulting in blindness. At two months old, Cash was also diagnosed with Pan-Hypopituitarism. This disease affects the pituitary gland, making it impossible for the body to produce basic hormones and steroids which are needed for the body to survive. Cash is now seven years old and doing amazing. He is a first grader at Southeast Elementary in Sweetwater.
Doors will open at 5 p.m., with ticket prices standing at $10 for adults, $5 for students and no charge for kids under five years old. At this time you can shop from over 30 vendor booths, purchase a t-shirt or a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Bushmaster Carbon 15 .223 Rifle and sign your children, ages 3-6, up for the beloved Mutton Bustinâ€™ competition. To kick off the main event Cash Miles will perform the National Anthem â€” the performances â€” will begin at 7 p.m., featuring 30 bull riders, 15 Mutton Busters, and the new section of Mini Bull Poker that is sure to be entertaining.
The Mutton Bustin' competition is open to the first 15 kids, ages three to six years old, with sign-ups beginning at 5 p.m. on a first-come, first serve basis. Also during the event, 30 vendors will be on hand for guests to browse and purchase items, along with a concession stand from Williams' Bar-B-Que, serving up their famous BBQ sandwiches. Free t-shirts will be thrown to the crowd throughout the evening, but shirts can also be purchased for $10 each. After the Bull Bash, a dance will be held at the Jaycees' Barn, located at 307 W. 4th Street, with a $5 entry fee. The dance is sponsored by Crowder Services Inc. out of El Dorado, TX and entertainment will be provided by The Michael Carubelli Band.
"There is something for everyone," said event organizer Annie Miles. "This is a great family event and people of every age will enjoy being there." In four years, almost 6,000 people have attended the event with over $35,000 being raised to serve visually impaired students. Funds have been used to purchase Braille books for local school libraries, iPads for visually impaired children, paid for music lessons, helped pay for services not provided by the state and have been placed into an account established by the Division for Blind Services (DBS) in Abilene.
"This event would not be possible without our amazing sponsors who pay for all costs to put this event on." Because of the sponsors, all proceeds from ticket sales, t-shirt sales etc. will benefit these children. For more information on the 5th Annual Ridin' for Cash Bull Bash, find the "Ridin' for Cash Bull Bash" Facebook page, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Matt or Annie Miles at 325-338-8212 or 325-721-4588.