Kids ‘n Cowboys is a program that provides support and assistance to families who have children with cancer. Tim Crowley started the program after his daughter’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. He wanted to give families in similar situations a chance to relax and support one another. Each year Kids ‘n Cowboys brings families together from across Montana and Wyoming for a carefree afternoon of visits with cowboys and cowgirls, a fun dinner, and an exciting evening at the rodeo. Tim says “the families really bond with one another and provide support the way that no one else can because they have a unique understanding of what each other is going through.Over 22 years ago, an organization called Kids ‘N’ Cowboys was founded. This organization has been rounding up kids with cancer from all around eastern Montana and northern Wyoming areas, and treating them and their families to a fun evening with dinner and a night at the NILE ProRodeo. Not only are the families provided with dinner and rodeo tickets, but organization also supplies them with travel expenses, lodging and meals.
“You’ve got these kids out there, especially from the surrounding towns, and they might feel like they are the only ones going through it. So we bring them together and not talk about cancer, because we all know that is why we are there, and we just have a good time,” states Tim Crowley, founder. “Everyone gets treated the same. It’s very important to have the whole family there.”
The day includes everything from firefighters and a fire truck, to Shriner clowns, rodeo queens, NILE Rodeo cowboys and cowgirls and even some horseback-riding. The families enjoy dinner catered by Yellowstone Kelly’s, followed by the final evening performance of the NILE ProRodeo.
Most of the children are patients of Kelker, a Billings pediatric oncologist, who attends the event almost every year.
“It’s cool for the new families to come and meet the families that have been there for a few years and to see the kids who had cancer and it gives them hope,” said Crowley.
While Kids ‘N’ Cowboys is fully funded, donations can be sent to Kelker’s Kids Fund at the Billings Clinic Foundation, PO Box 31031, Billings, MT 59107.