BILLINGS — The Kids N Cowboys Childhood Cancer Organization treated child cancer patients and their families to fun activities and a night at the NILE PRCA rodeo at MetraPark Sunday.
"We bring these families together for one evening out of the year where they can be a family. Otherwise they might not be able to afford it," said Kids N Cowboys organizer Tin Crowley.
Crowley said many of the families in attendance travel miles to get treatment.
For 26 years, Kids and Cowboys has offered those families an all expense paid evening away from the hospital.
“It’s just a fun event," Crowley said. "The families appreciate it. "We try to make it as easy on them as we can. We provide them dinner, a hotel room, and rodeo tickets. They have no expense whatsoever.”
Around two dozen kids and their families at the event are all from eastern Montana and northern Wyoming. Crowley emphasized that Kids N Cowboys is all about fun.
"What we try to do is bring a little happiness into their lives and go from there," Crowley said.
Before the rodeo, everyone got the chance so see the St. Vincent HELP Flight helicopter land near the MetraPark Grandstands. The Billings Fire Department also brought out a ladder truck for viewing.
"The fire department has been great to us," Crowley said. "They have been here since way back when. This is the first year for the Help Flight Helicopter. It was such a wonderful thing, the kids really enjoy that."
After that excitement, kids could saddle up and ride a horse. As well, the Al Bedoo Shrine clowns were there to bring the smiles.
Kacyn Hinman is a 7-year-old cancer survivor from Broadus. He enjoyed seeing the firefighters and their truck. He particularly remembered seeing the jaws of life.
Hinman said he's excited to see his favorite bull rider, Jess Lockwood, at the rodeo Saturday.
"We get to go look at bulls and animals," Hinman said. "And we get to see buckin' bull riders and we get to see Jess Lockwood."
Hinman said he expects Lockwood to stay on for the full eight seconds at the NILE PRCA Rodeo.