Kids Enjoy 21st Annual Exceptional Rodeo

By: Joe Hellriegel Email
By: Joe Hellriegel Email

Berrien and Cook County special needs students get to enjoy the day being real cowboys and cowgirls on Thursday.

Local FFA students are paired up with the special needs students like Dan, known as "Dan The Man" to his friends, to have a day of roping, riding and enjoying the rodeo atmosphere.

"Me and Christian, we're friends and we're both wearing caps and everything," said Dan.

"It's fun, coming out here hanging out with Dan and I'm just the type of person to come out here and help the kids and they can't do it by themselves," said Berrien High 10th grader Christian Mercer.

106 special needs children enjoyed the day, all with smiles on their faces.

"I think we're having a lot of fun, I have 3 different people, three different ones, this one is my favorite though," said Berrien High School student Ashley Whitlock.

The Exceptional Rodeo started 21 years ago with a mom who just wanted to make a difference.

Prissy Massingill started the Exceptional Rodeo. She says to see the event grow this large is something she never imagined.

"This just holds a real special place in my heart. I like for the children to have a great day and a wonderful time and we just enjoy and look forward to doing it every year for these kids," said Massingill.

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