It all began my senior year at a high school rodeo in Gonzales, Tx in 2006.
I was running barrels, and during my run I could hear this small, but loud voice that I did not recognize yelling, "Hurry up, Morgan! Hustle!"
I finished my run, a little confused by the voice and headed to the trailer to put my horse up.
After tending to my horse, I went up to the stands to watch the rest of the barrel race with my mom.
While sitting with her, I asked her if she heard the voice, too or if I was just losing my mind.
Laughing, she said, yes she heard "the voice", too and pointed to a small girl in a wheel chair.
My mom informed me that the little girl was Bailey Kay, and was some one I definitely needed to meet.
So, I wandered over to the girl perched right beside the fence, yelling for each competitor as if she knew every one of them like a sister.
I bent down beside her and stuck my hand out to introduce myself. I had never seen a smile so big or eyes so radiant.
She introduced herself and stuck both arms out, obviously wanting a hug.
It was then I knew why my mom wanted me to meet her.
Bailey Kay is truly a one-of-a-kind kid. She’s the type that just makes you thankful to be alive, maybe because she’s so lucky to be alive and knows it at the age of 14.
Bailey Kay was born with Spina Bifida. She is limited to a wheel chair and has had numerous surgeries, including a recent brain surgery.
As you know, these surgeries and medical bills add up. This is how Bailey Kay became our second Lilly Joy Gamel Benefit recipient.
Three years ago we founded the Lilly Joy Gamel Memorial Benefit to keep Lilly’s memory alive after her death and to help children in need. Lilly made a huge impact on every one that knew her, and we’re hoping this memorial will make an impact on children the way Lilly did on us.
Last year we had a huge success for Jatelyn Waite with a barrel race. This year, we hope to start a new tradition by making the benefit a weekend long event, starting Friday, June 4th with a bull riding that will start at 7:30 p.m. Then Saturday, a barrel race will begin with exhibitions at 9:00 am followed by the 8 & Under Class at 1:00 pm. After the 8 & Under Class, we will have a Youth Class followed by the Open 4D. Saturday night we will have a dance at the Ft. Mason Park Slab along with a donation fish fry and auction. And Sunday will end the weekend with a team roping.
We are close to being ready for this year’s benefit , but we are still in need of some assistance. If you would like to help, here are some ways that you can;
-Donations for added money for the events
-Cakes and /or snack baskets for the auction – please contact Candy Eckert @ 347-2522
Donations can be made to the benefit with Amanda McMillan at the Mason National Bank, or by calling her at (325)347-2486.
For questions regarding the Team Roping, please call Dennis or Karen Townsend @ 239-5448. For questions regarding the Fish Fry, please call Misty Martin @ 512-585-8036. For questions regarding the Bull Riding or Barrel Race, please call Morgan McMillan @ 347-7408 or Amanda McMillan @ 347-2486.
We’re looking forward to a fun weekend. Hope you can join us!!