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Young cowhands turn up for own Cowboy Breakfast

By Tony Perez | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office | Jan. 31, 2008

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS — Despite temperatures in the upper-30s and a light rain, Lackland Independent School District hosted its fourth annual Cowboy Breakfast on Jan. 25.

According to the event's coordinator, Robbye Durham, she wouldn't have had the weather any other way.

"I thought that the weather added to the ambience of the event because the event really is a celebration of the cattle and ranch industries. And I think it was a learning experience for the kids," said the district's Media Center coordinator.

Ms. Durham heads a committee that starts planning the event in August. She coordinates with the 37th Civil Engineer Squadron for appropriate lighting, and cafeteria workers and other volunteers work together to put on the event.

Cooks arrived between 4:30 and 5 a.m. to start preparing the breakfast. Most of the other volunteers began arriving by 5:45 a.m.

The meals consisted of potato and egg breakfast tacos, biscuits and gravy, and grits.

Coffee, juice, milk and hot chocolate were also provided for refreshment.

"The turnout was a little bit lighter this year," said Dr. David Splitek, Lackland Independent School District superintendent. "We think we had a little fewer than 300 folks, and last year we were close to 500. Still, I think everyone had a great time, and we enjoy doing this for the community."

The event featured a bull roping area, where children could practice their roping skills on stuffed bull horns, and an area were children could ride stick ponies.

Lackland Elementary reading specialist and teacher Cassie Boatwright brought two of her horses to the breakfast to teach children how to care and train horses.

Ms. Boatwright used to compete in rodeo events, proving that she has all the experience necessary to teach these children the cowboy lifestyle.

The Cowboy Breakfast closed with several elementary school children participating in the "Cotton-Eyed Joe." Some of them were even dressed in full rodeo attire.

"With everyone's help every year, we pull off the event. It is always a lot of fun," Dr. Splitek said.