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Ella Norwood Benefit Horse Show helps raise $30,000

From the Newstrader - September 17th, 2009 - General News

Bill and Kelli Norwood, with their daughter Ella, thank supporters of the Ella Norwood Benefit Horse Show.

Courtesy photo

Bill and Kelli Norwood, with their daughter Ella, thank supporters of the Ella Norwood Benefit Horse Show.

TEMECULA — The horse community came out to support the Norwood family at the Ella Norwood Benefit Horse Show on Aug. 29 at Casner Ranch. Friends of Bill and Kelli Norwood organized the fund-raising horse show, auction and dinner to help pay for medical costs of their daughter, Ella Maree Norwood, who at just 5 weeks old this past April, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer. After a successful surgery at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, doctors reportedly are confident they were able to remove all of the tumor. However, insurance coverage is limited, and hospital bills are high.

The Norwoods wish to thank the supporters and about 150 people who attended the benefit, which raised more than $30,000 to help pay for Ella Norwood’s medical bills.

“The outpouring of support from people for this event was incredible; those who did come to the benefit were all very generous,” said Lisa Hernandez, one of the benefit organizers. “This event renewed my faith in the human spirit. So many people came out in support of this event that it brought tears to my eyes. We had trainers from Arizona and Ohio sending their support, as well as those here in Southern California. Everyone was very friendly and tolerant of the heat and supported this event from the bottom of their hearts.”

The horse show portion of the benefit included reining and cow horse classes, in addition to a few fun events, such as a boot race for the kids, champagne reining, and stick-horse cutting. Stick-horse cutting was the most popular of the “fun” events–it enlisted eight trainers to take part.

Judy Clark (right) and her daughters, Alex and Carley, are among the 150 event attendees.

Courtesy photo

Judy Clark (right) and her daughters, Alex and Carley, are among the 150 event attendees.

“Each trainer first had to show off how cowy his particular stick horse was so they could be auctioned off for our calcutta which raised $1,800,” Hernandez said. “Then, one by one, the trainers took their turn in the arena with a herd of cattle. They had to cut out a cow and hold it for 90 seconds while riding a stick horse. Some of the trainers opted to bring their own stick horses, such as the winner of the event, Brad Barkemeyer from Arizona. He was mounted on the well-known stick horse ‘Chics Magic Extension’. I have a feeling that the horse’s name helped him out a little bit with the judge for that event, Bob Avila,” referring to Avila’s successful horse, Chics Magic Potion.

“Even with the heat and the fires going on all around Southern California, these people took the time to come out and support this worthy event,” Hernandez said. “Mike Berg spent the entire day judging the event and then competed in the stick-horse cutting as well.”

Rebecca Goss “Boo-Yaah” Memorial Foundation was instrumental in supplying the Norwoods with a method for people to make tax-deductible donations. “Together with the Goss Foundation, our plans are to do a similar show each year to benefit another family or cause,” Hernandez said. “Although Ella has recovered fully from her operation to remove the tumor–and it appears she will be able to lead a normal, healthy life–things are still going to be tough for her for awhile. She has to undergo monthly visits to a variety of doctors for many tests to ensure that she remains healthy and to catch any possible recurrence as quickly as possible.”

Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation to the Norwood family can send it through the Rebecca Goss “Boo-Yaah” Memorial Foundation, with a note in the memo line to be earmarked for Ella Norwood. Donations can be sent to: John or Martha Goss, 8787 Flower Road, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730. Donations also can be made via PayPal at the Web site: www.beccaboo-yaah.org

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