FORT WORTH, Texas, April 3, 2014 – By Susan Kanode – When James Pierce was diagnosed with kidney cancer members of his bull riding and rodeo family responded with love and prayers. They are taking it a step farther with a benefit at the Longhorn Saloon in Fort Worth, the afternoon of Sunday, April 13, with the Whybenormal Benefit.
Pierce, from Thibodeaux, La., will be having extensive surgery and treatment. The benefit has been organized to help defray medical costs. As a professional bull fighter, Pierce was often asked about his chosen career and answered, “Why be normal?” That has become his moniker and it’s certain the event will be anything but normal with the entertainment available and items up for bid.
It will cap off a weekend of Western celebrations that includes the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame inductions and the Tuff Hedeman Championship Challenge bull riding. The bull riding is sanctioned by Championship Bull Riding whose home is in the stockyards and has been a big part of Pierce’s life as he is on the arena crew along with his son James Pierce Jr.
Doors open at 12 p.m. with entertainment by Steve Stewart Music kicking off the afternoon. A silent auction will go on throughout the afternoon with a live auction capping off activities starting at 4 p.m. A $10 donation will be requested at the door.
“It’s amazing the items that have been donated and the outpouring of support we’ve had,” said Gary “Roach” Hedeman who along with his wife Cindy are organizing the benefit. “James has been a good friend and now it’s our turn to support him.”
Among the live auction items is a pair of green chaps won by legendary Don Gay when he earned one of his eight world championships. It will be filled with rodeo memorabilia and history and patrons will have a chance to own one-of-a-kind items like an autographed cover of Life magazine featuring the late Jim Shoulders.
“It’s unbelievable the response we’ve had,” Pierce said. “I can’t thank Roach and Cindy enough for putting this together and everyone else involved. It’s overwhelming and very humbling.”
Pictures of many of the auction items are on the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Whybenormalbenefit.To donate auction items email firstname.lastname@example.org.