New Leash on Life Executive Director Angela Chapman was in for an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise last week when she accepted a $2,000 donation.
The money was earmarked for New Leash on Life, a no-kill animal shelter, from proceeds of the 8th annual Whip Crackin' Rodeo.
"Honestly, I was very surprised. I thought we might get $1,000, then when they said $2,000 I was like 'Wow,'" she explained. New Leash recently took in a dog with a cancerous mass on its tail who would be having special surgery in the next week.
"We may have just found a way we are going to take care of that," she said.
The money was donated by Whip Crackin' Rodeo founders, former Lebanon Mayor Philip and Darlene Craighead, in honor of the late Bobby Price. Price was the CEO of Price's Collision Center - which has 11 Middle Tennessee locations including one in Lebanon.
"I got to know him when they opened Price's Collision Center in Lebanon. He loved dogs. At his home he had some big kennels where he took in strays," Craighead said. "He was a really super guy. He was a good steward in the community and worked with us at the rodeo the last couple of years. We are glad to present this donation in his honor."
The 8th annual Whip Crackin' Rodeo raised $40,000 for charities.
Craighead founded the event during his first term after a friend, steer wrestler Troy Orr, introduced him to the Lone Star Rodeo company. Craighead said it was during the recession, when a lot of charities weren't getting the donations they needed to make ends meet.
"We thought we might raise $20,000," Craighead said in an earlier interview.
The Whip Crackin' Rodeo, on average, has raised double that amount every year. In fact, in their first seven years, they raised over $300,000.
"The money we raise fills voids for so many different people. We donate the proceeds to a couple dozen different charities," he said. These organizations have included Books from Birth, Boy Scouts of America, Brooks House, Wilson County CASA, Cedar Seniors, Empower Me Day Camp, Habitat for Humanity, Joseph's Storehouse, New Leash on Life, Pickett Chapel Restoration, Southern STARRS, Sherry's Run, Wilson County Black History Committee, Vietnam Veterans and more.