On May 1, cowboys from across the country will saddle up in Kingfisher to compete in the sixth annual Cross Family Steer Wrestling Benefit. Proceeds from the event will be donated to multiple research areas at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
The event was launched in 2011 as a celebration of the life of Kingfisher cowboy Floyd Cross, who battled recurring bouts of liver and colon cancer for 12 years. Cross is now cancer-free, and his family continues to fight the disease in his honor by supporting research at OMRF.
Fighting cancer, said Sherrie Cross, Floyd’s daughter and event organizer, is a lot like wrestling a steer. “It takes a lot of dedication and effort. There will be struggles, but you keep trying until you get it right.”
This year, the Cross family is dedicating the event to the memory of friend and supporter Dana Mayo Mullens of El Reno. Mullens suffered from pulmonary hypertension and a hole in her heart before dying unexpectedly in October 2015, just a month after she married Floyd Mullens on Sept. 4.
“Dana was on our board of directors and one of our biggest helpers, and we want to honor her memory this year,” said Sherrie Cross. “Hopefully research being done at OMRF can help people who suffer from these same conditions in the future.”
Last year’s benefit drew nearly 50 cowboys. Cross said she expects around 60 participants this year. In addition to cancer, event proceeds will be earmarked for heart and lung disease research at OMRF.
“The Cross family’s steer wrestling competition is a great example of Oklahomans supporting research at OMRF by doing something they enjoy and getting their community involved,” said OMRF Director of Development Kelley McGuire. “We are grateful to have so many friends across the state who want to help our scientists make discoveries that will help us all live longer, healthier lives.”
In addition to the steer wrestling competition and t-shirt sales, raffle tickets will be sold for $1 each or six for $5. They will also be accepting donations. Among the many items up for grabs are two prime rib-eye steak slabs, a pair of pork slabs, local artwork and much more. There will also be concessions serving homemade hamburgers and grilled bologna sandwiches with all proceeds going to the benefit.
The event will be held at 1 p.m. at the Kingfisher Rodeo Roundup Club Arena. To enter or for more information, call Sherrie Cross at (405) 375-4872 or (405) 313-1776. The books are open for entry from 10 a.m. until noon on May 1. Admission is free.