Supporting the community: one scholarship at a time

The Silver Spurs Riding Club is known for putting on rodeo events throughout the year, but people often don’t realize all the community work the Club does when the volunteers aren’t organizing a rodeo. (Let alone that technically the organization is a 501(c)(5).) From hosting community fundraisers to raising donations for local non-profits, the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s mission from the beginning has been to help make a difference in Central Florida. Along with working with local non-profits, one other way the Silver Spurs Riding Club impacts the community is through its scholarship. But don’t just take our word for it. On the blog, learn how the Silver Spurs Scholarship formed, how the Silver Spurs Riding Club raises money for their annual scholarship, and testimonials from past Silver Spurs scholarship recipients themselves.

Since the late 80s, the Silver Spurs Riding Club has given out scholarships to graduating seniors. Along with their scholarship program, in 2003, the Silver Spurs Riding Club expanded its community outreach and committed $100,000 with the Education Foundation of Osceola County to fund agriculture programs in the school district of Osceola County. To help raise additional scholarship funds, the Silver Spurs Riding Club put on the first Cowboy Classic Golf tournament in early October of  2013. During the golf tournament, the Silver Spurs Riding Club volunteers would cook and serve steak. Participants also had the opportunity to bid in a live auction or win door prizes.

However, with the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s commitment to preserving the cultural heritage of Osceola County by promoting the sport of rodeo, the organization opted to raise funds for the scholarship the best way they know how: by putting on a rodeo.

Silver Spurs Riding Club Big Boss Tim Shirah with 2015 scholarship recipients.
“I’m originally from Saint Cloud and have always been very involved in rodeo, attending the Silver Spurs Rodeo since it was held in the old outdoor arena. I received the Silver Spurs Rodeo scholarship in May of 2015, and it helped me pay tuition for the fall semester of my freshman year at McNeese State University. With the help of the Silver Spurs Rodeo scholarship, I was able to graduate from college debt free and can now pursue a career in the equine industry.” – Selena Clair
Silver Spurs Riding Club Big Boss Dusty Holley with Silver Spurs Rodeo scholarship winner, Tamyia Paul
“I recently graduated from Osceola High school and Osceola Technical College where I did dual enrollment in their Legal Administrative Specialist program. I was so excited when I received the Silver Spurs Rodeo scholarship this past April because I can now use that money to help pay for my books, supplies, and classes this coming fall. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Silver Spurs Riding Club! This organization has given me an amazing blessing by helping me (and others) with our education.” – Tamyia Paul

Here’s how it works. The organization will take a percentage of the attendance funds raised during Boots, Bulls and Barrels and put it aside to use for the scholarships. From late November to early February of the following year, the Silver Spurs Rodeo scholarship application will be available for seniors to apply for via the Education Foundation of Osceola County’s website. The requirements for this scholarship are: 1) they must be an Osceola County resident with an intent to graduate the year of the scholarship they’re applying for, 2) must have a minimum of 3.0 cumulative unweighted GPA, and 3) attend a post-secondary school in the fall year of the application as a full-time student.

After the application period for the scholarship closes, the Silver Spurs Riding Club board will meet to review the applications and select the recipients. After the recipients are notified, the Education Foundation hosts a formal Awards Ceremony to celebrate not just the Silver Spurs Rodeo scholarship recipients but all scholarship recipients from other non-profits, organizations, and the Osceola County School District. 

With deep ties in education and many volunteers being former or current educators in the Osceola County School District, it goes without saying how important the Silver Spurs Rodeo scholarship program is not just for the recipients but for the Silver Spurs Riding Club as well. If you’d like to help be a part of our next scholarship award winners, make sure to save the date for October 6th for our upcoming Boots, Bulls and Barrels performance. With a portion of the attendance revenue raised during Boots, Bulls and Barrels being allocated to our scholarship fund, the more butts in seats means more scholarships we can give away next April! Hope to see y’all then!