The Duncan Noon Lions Club Rodeo is charging forward at full-speed, and this is something the community should be sure not to miss. Everything kicks off next weekend at 7:30 p.m. June 27-29 in the Claud Gill Arena.

The Duncan Lions Club Open Rodeo chairman, Joe Henderson, said that the biggest aspect and focus of this event, to him, is to get the younger members of the community involved.

“These kids who say they don’t have anything to do on a Friday or Saturday night, well that’s crazy,” Henderson said, “because this Friday, Saturday and even Thursday, there’s an activity they can participate in that’s a family atmosphere.”

Henderson said the number of

children interested in participating is declining, and that doesn’t go for just the rodeo.

“If there was anything at all that I would like to see happen, it’s that in some way, we get some more kids involved,” Henderson said. “We’re losing that, and I don’t think the community realizes that. We’re losing them in Scouts; we’re losing them in baseball, because as a community, we’re not encouraging these kids to participate, and that’s our fault.”

The Lions Club works closely with kids of all ages throughout the year. The money they raise from events like this gets put back into the community through the scholarships they provide to high school students, eyeglasses and eye exams for the community.

Recently, the Lions Club also purchased a glucose pump for a young girl who developed diabetes using funds they raised from the community. Henderson said that this is a community event and a community benefit.

Henderson’s goals for this year’s rodeo may look a little different than his goals in years past. He wants to see more people at the rodeo, of course, but he is looking for people who may not have been to one before.

“We want the shorts-and-flip-flops guys,” he said. “If you see those shorts-and-flip-flops guys at a rodeo, you know they’re out of their element, and we like to see those guys come out and have a good time.”

In addition, Henderson said he would like to see other members of the community that host their own events throughout the year as well.

“This is a giving community,” he said. “Duncan has always been a giving community, we would like to see some of those people who host other events to come see what we do, so we can feel more comfortable coming to see what they do.”

The team will spend the week starting Monday, June 24, putting the finishing touches on the area, the preparations for which many members of the community don’t get to see. Henderson said that the week is packed full of hard work.

“For us it’s just a routine,” Henderson said. “For the average person on the street, I would challenge them to come down and work the week that we work just getting the facility to where we can use it to do what we do.”

Despite the time and the effort it takes to put on this event for the community, Henderson struggles to pick a favorite event, because he just enjoys it all. Though he has a special place in his heart for the kids.

Events at this year’s rodeo include bronc riding, breakaway and calf roping, junior and senior barrel racing, team roping and bull riding. Also featured are four young women competing for the title of Duncan Noon Lions 2019 Rodeo Queen/Ambassador — Alexis Ingram, Shy Church, Lilly Dreher and Shaddiah Phillips.

The younger attendants can join in the calf scramble and nickel toss, while some with more experience can chase the crazy heifer. Henderson said that there is something special about this year’s nickel toss, but he didn’t want to give it away just yet.

Not only that, but a new addition to the lineup is pee wee barrel racing. This event is for the younger kids who are just learning how to ride and who don’t want to compete with teenagers.

“We hope that it catches on and that will help promote the kids,” Henderson said. “We are always trying to add more contestants to these events, and if you don’t start them young, you don’t start them at all.”

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