Shadow & Luctricia
Luctricia our Make-A-Wish Child and Shadow the creator/organizer/leader of our 2017 charity tour.
On Auguest 2nd in Middlebourne, WV a rodeo took place, I frequently travel and photograph the local rodeo circuit if I am available. This year has been different, the Rodeo stock contractors son is my best friend, he is a prominent performer and professional roman rider. He lives to give and wanted this year to be special so together we planned a charity tour, the partnership we hoped to strike was the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Preparation, training, marketing photography sessions, and securing sponsorships commenced over the months that followed. Ads were made, performers gathered, posters were made, and then our partnership was secured. Unlike previous tours however we wouldn't be fundraising but rather participating in a program called Wish Enhancement, designed to allow these very special children to come spend time with equestrians and their horses while waiting for their wishes or to simply give them hope and a day of joy if they are in need.
Needless to say it has been our biggest and most rewarding tour to date, we hosted a kick off party open to Make-A-Wish children and their families and had a great turn out. We have had a few Wish kids come meet and greet with us on tour, but August 2nd was the biggest experience we have had..
Luctricia, was our Wish Child and she wanted to experience anything and everything that we could offer- believe me it was an incredible honor and experience that will be with me for life. Our team had been waiting really for the opportunity to really go all out, we spoiled Luctricia with gifts of boots, jeans, stuffed horses, and signed memorabilia. As a Dolly fan, and a child whose wish was made in Pigeon Forge, TN we drew on our contacts and performers from the Dixie stampede made her a good luck video, and then we took her around to meet the cowboys and cowgirls.
Luctricia was full of smiles, happiness, and warm hugs. No one was immune to her infectious smile and obvious joy and love for just being there with us. She got to ride a horse and watch the first part of the rodeo and then rode in the rodeo just smiling and waving as the rodeo family and crowd cheered her on. See she wished to ride a horse in a performance, we were more than willing to make it happen, but it was the crowd response to her journey her beautiful happiness that made this something incredible to witness.
Luctricia's journey isn't over, she still has a battle ahead and my thoughts and prayers go to her family. I thank them for letting me be there, letting me capture these memories, and for sharing their very special daughter with us all. She is a bright light, a powerful force, and it was truly a great honor.