Frances McLaughlin shares her love for the Special Rodeo and the Silver Spurs Rodeo
The Silver Spurs Riding Club is a member-based organization sharing values of family, friendship, horsemanship, and American tradition. Generations of the Silver Spurs Riding Club members work year-round to make an impact in the production of our rodeos and, in turn, make an impact in our community. With more than 400 volunteers in the organization, the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s Board of Directors carefully chooses and awards two hard-working women every year with the Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award. On the blog, we introduce you to Frances McLaughlin, one of the recipients for this year’s Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a dedicated member of the Silver Spurs Riding Club.
Frances McLaughlin was born in Quincy, Florida, in 1946, and graduated from the Summerlin Institute in Bartow, Florida, in 1964. Upon graduation, she moved to Kissimmee, Florida, and married her husband Richard in March 1965. The two had three children; Richard Jr., Ryan, and Randy and are proud grandparents to two grandsons and two granddaughters. Frances is a proud member of the First Baptist Church, Epilson Tau Sorority, Osceola County Farm Bureau, American Legion, and Kissimmee Moose Lodge.
Inspired by the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s partnership with the Osceola Opportunity Center to pick up trash at the arena, Richard, her late husband, dreamed of becoming a member of the organization. Frances’ boss at the time, Jim Smith, nominated them for membership. After they went through the initiation process, both were accepted as members and volunteered their time to the organization.
While visiting the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1987, Frances and Richard attended the Exceptional Rodeo, an event that brought rodeo contestants and children with special needs together. It was clear how the Exceptional Rodeo could be an asset to their son and many other children with special needs in Osceola County. After returning home from Las Vegas, Frances went door to door sharing information and asking for donations in order to raise the $5,000 needed to bring the Exceptional Rodeo to the Silver Spurs Arena. Frances loves that the Silver Spurs Rodeo isn’t just a place of entertainment and that the Silver Spurs Riding Club also provides hundreds of children with disabilities the opportunity to have fun and participate in rodeo events.
The Silver Spurs Riding Club is thankful to the McLaughlin’s for starting this beloved tradition within the Club. For more than 30 years, the Silver Spurs Special Rodeo gives participants the chance to ride horses, rope a steer dummy, and sit on the famous Big Blue Boot. They even get to meet state and local rodeo queens and contestants!
Want to see what the Silver Spurs Rodeo is all about? Check our event schedule for details on our next event! Between the action-packed rodeo events and the family-fun activities, you won’t want to miss the rodeo when it comes to town!