The Santa Maria Elks Rodeo is helping children battling life-threatening cancer, as well as their families.
Golden Circle of Champions Distribution Night was held Wednesday at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge.
The event began in 2016 to raise awareness and funds for local children battling cancer.
25 families each received $1,000 on Wednesday night. The money was raised through fundraising campaigns during the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo. Each year, 25 families are chosen to be honored at the rodeo during opening night. People attending the rodeo donate money to the families during each performance when gold painted cowboy boots are passed in the stands. Funds are also raised through an auction and other programs.
“This is one of the reasons why we do this is to be able to give back to the community in this special manner. It makes it very special for us being able to help kids with life-threatening cancer,” said Peter Sterling, Elks Recreation President.
As of Wednesday night, the rodeo had helped 75 families.