American Military Celebration Team Roping and Raises Funds and Gifts New Home to Army Veteran
More than $45,000 was raised for veterans at American Hat Company’s first American Military Celebration, hosted by ten-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier Charly Crawford. The Veteran’s Day team roping event and silent auction honored military members, first responders, and their families. The event was held at Lonestar Arena and aired on The Cowboy Channel.
The event held several ropings: the Classic Military and First Responders Roping, which drew 79 teams; the Priefert Celebrity pro-am roping, which had 43 teams; and the Smarty’s World’s Best Texas NFR Shootout, which hosted the 15 teams headed to the national finals in December.
The military and celebrity ropings combined paid more than $17,000, and the shootout paid $60,000. Jade Corkill and Clay Smith were crowned the shootout champs. United States Air Force veteran Ed Caygle and Army veteran Chris Taylor won the 10.5 slide military roping, and professional header Clay Tryan and veteran Rocky Gaudious earned top honors in the pro-am roping.
A highlight of the event was when Army Sergeant Mafuta Sauni of Houston, Texas, was given a new mortgage-free home from Building Homes for Heroes. Founded by Andy Pujol after he volunteered in the search-and-rescue in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Building Homes for Heroes is a national nonprofit organization that builds and modifies homes and gifts them, mortgage-free, to veterans and their families. Since 2006, Building Homes for Heroes has modified and gifted nearly 255 homes nationwide.
Sauni joined the military in 2007 and served for nearly eight years, including multiple deployments in Afghanistan, before being discharged in 2015 with a 100-percent injury rating.
“My family and I appreciate military veterans and first responders, so it was fitting to host an event for them on Veterans Day,” says Crawford. “The event went great and everyone had a great time.”
For more information, visit the event’s Facebook and Instagram page, American Military Celebration