Rodeo is Doin' it for Dolly
IN A bid to stamp out bullying, the Lamont family will truck a semi load of their best bucking bulls more than 400km.
It's a fair hike, but if you ask Rebecca Lamont why they are supporting the Doin' it For Dolly Charity Rodeo, which will be held in Springsure on February 10, she will tell you their efforts are only "a small gesture".
The Lamonts were among the kind-hearted folk who answered the call for help sent out by rodeo DJ couple Daniel Roberts and Shannon Bleakley.
Last week, Daniel stood before his smartphone, filming a plea for volunteers so they could organise a charity rodeo that would support newly established trust Dolly's Dream.
Dolly's Dream was established by the Everett family after their 14-year-old daughter Amy, who was known as Dolly, died by suicide.
After her death the family spoke out about the impacts bullying had on their young daughter's life. Daniel explained the cause behind the event in his Facebook video, which at the time of printing had been viewed more than 600,000 times.
Shannon has since been inundated with messages of support.
"We had a bloke contact us to say he had already booked time off work to come and help," she said.
"The messages have come from all over the country. It has made me feel really proud to be an Australian."
The rodeo will be held from February 10 at the Springsure Showgrounds, and is already lining up to be a top event.
The Lamont family, who live on Hyde Park Station near Charters Towers, plan to bring their unridden bucking bull Apollo Creed. The lively bull has 45 trips under his belt.
"My six-year-old just loves him and says he is the one that 'slingshots the cowboys'," Rebecca said.
It was an easy decision to donate their valued services to the rodeo.
"As a family with three young kids, we think it's really important to be part of this and to show that bullying is not okay," she said.
"So we will be making the 420km trek to Springsure."
Dolly's death has become worldwide news, with celebrities like Bette Midler speaking out on social media.
Shannon said the teen's death had particularly hit home for her in Springsure, as extended family members of Dolly's live in the community.
"I have a 10-year-old daughter, so the thought of losing one of our children... I get teary thinking about it," she said.
"I think for a parent it would be hard any time you lose a child, but I think under these circumstances, it's unimaginable how the family is feeling."
While the rodeo is very much being held in honour of Dolly's life, Shannon stressed they wanted the focus of the event to be about anti-bullying for everyone.
"We have been flooded with messages from people who have been bullied. We want the event to be in honour of everyone who has been touched by suicide," she said.
"We really want to get the message out there that there is help available for our kids. Dolly's drawing that said, "speak up even if it makes your voice shake" is exactly right.
"We can't help our kids if we don't know what's going on."
Spectators are encouraged to wear blue, which was Dolly's favourite colour.
To lend a hand yourself, or to support the rodeo as a spectator, like the Doin' It For Dolly Facebook page.
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Gates open at the Springsure Showgrounds at 1pm.
The main event starts at 6pm
Competitors and spectators are encouraged to wear blue
Like the Doin' it for Dolly Charity Rodeo Facebook page to keep up to date