I will definitely volunteer again next year…I attended Rough Rider Roundup, A Special Western Day and Rodeo at Roughout Ranch in Redding, California last October 19, 2019. It was an event for the special needs community of Shasta and neighboring counties to enjoy. It was clear that everyone who went including volunteers, were having a good time. I was with a participant who said, “I wish this day would never end; it is so much fun. I can’t wait until next year.” One could see that in just one year, a lot of effort went into making this event come true. Kathy Burgess and Jim Cooke put a lot meticulous detail into every activity and did this from scratch (from designing ideas to building them). Some of the things that the event had to offer was a cow train that ran around a large pasture which got held up by an old west character (robber), blacksmithing demonstrations, petting zoo, food, and a western town facade. There were also carnival games which were so finely finished they were beautiful and a few old west encampments with old west entertainers. Rough Rider Round-up was a successful, happy event. Everyone seemed to benefit from the positive outcome that this event provided. I volunteered to help during registration in the morning and assist with First Aid (if needed) for the rest the day; I will definitely do it again next year.
-- Kimberly Burgess --
As a firsthand witness, I know that much work and effort went into making this event a success. Many hours were spent making the property perfect for the event and with the help of a friend, and years’ worth of work constructing all the games and activities—and there were many. There was a blacksmith tent, a singing cowboy and his old west encampment, lots of animals to pet, and “cows” to milk (wooden cows that one could milk). Some of the kids enjoyed being in jail which was part of the buildings that made up the old west town. The BBQ was free and delicious with sausages and homemade chili and drinks. The venue is a perfect setup for the roundup with lots of green grass and tall trees to keep it cool. Kathy O’Donnell has a deep desire to help others, especially those less fortunate than herself. Lots of leg work went into procuring donations and advertising for the event. Of course, she didn’t know what to expect. The community was extremely generous, and Kathy was overwhelmed by the generosity of so many. The donations made it possible for rough rider rodeo to move forward and be ready by the scheduled date. I would say about 100 people enjoyed the day of which 30 people had physical and mental challenges. All the games were fun for everyone, and I especially liked the cow train ride because my husband was the engineer and the passengers loved it. Toward the end of the day I would hear people say how much fun they had and can’t wait to come back next year. I was so impressed with everything. I’ve been to other similar type events that were not so well put together as this -- especially being the first time out. Rough Rider Roundup is hosts by Roughout Ranch and Roughout Ranch Foundation Inc. a non-profit organization. It’s FREE…and donations are so important to help keep this an annual event.
-- Lucille Burgess --
I would like to express my great appreciation to Kathy O'Donnell and her Rough Rider Roundup event. I volunteered to help with the event and did so (along with many others) from setup to cleanup, registration to train engineer. My appreciation comes from being a part of and observing something that brought out the best of a variety of people with all different abilities, from 3 years old to 70. It was an experience of heart-to-heart connection with people who might not have the opportunity to interact with each other ordinarily—participants and volunteers alike. The organization and craftsmanship evident in every aspect of the event created a magical and exhilarating atmosphere to which everyone responded with joy and enthusiastic engagement. Some of the volunteers were from Shasta Sea Cadets and Redding Police Explorers groups in uniform. Their supervising leaders were quite serious and stoic about their responsibilities at first, but even they relaxed into the fun of the day. Some participants were described as typically not taking part in any group outings but at Rough Rider Roundup they happily spent the entire day exploring and interacting with everything there was to do. Many volunteers stayed to talk about how wonderful the day had been and share stories. All this could only be accomplished by someone with passion, vision, energy and determination and focus. Kathy O’Donnell did this. It was a marvel in which I and many others look forward to attending year after year. I’ve never seen such a variety of people having such a joyous time—all for free. Very moving and inspirational. I will continue donating my time, talent and treasure (as best I can) in hopes that others will do the same, allowing Rough Rider Roundup to continue annually.
-- Kristi Burgess --