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The bull-riding event raises $21,000 for a local boy who had a bone marrow transplant

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN
 - Prineville cowboy Mason Cooley rides a bull during the Buckin' for Rowdy bull-riding benefit event Dec. 29.

The Buckin' for Rowdy bull-riding event brought in more than $21,000 for a little cowboy who is facing his toughest ride yet.

Rowdy Ware, the 9-year-old son of locals Steve and Rachel Ware, was diagnosed with aplastic anemia in October. The rare, life-threatening condition is total bone marrow failure when the body doesn't produce red/white/platelets cells.

Rowdy has been at the Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland since his diagnosis, where he received a bone marrow transplant Jan. 4.

Patrick Drinkard, who helped organize Buckin' for Rowdy, said the fundraiser went really well.

"We had about 1,000 people there, and we raised a little over $21,000," he said.

Twenty bull riders came for the bull-riding event, which was held Saturday, Dec. 29 at the Crook County Fairgrounds indoor arena.

Powell Butte cowboy Riley Hix won the contest, taking home a jacket and coffee mug.

"I'd like to thank everybody for coming and donating and supporting the event. Without them, it wouldn't have been possible," Drinkard said.

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN
 - The Moss Brothers were one of the musical acts to perform during the Buckin' for Rowdy fundraiser.On Monday morning, Rowdy's mother, Rachel, said, "We are just on day three post-transplant, and his body is trying to recover from chemotherapy and radiation, so he hasn't been feeling well."

Rowdy will remain in the hospital for about six weeks post-transplant, and then they will have to live at the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital for 100 days before returning home, she said.

Funds raised during the Buckin' for Rowdy bull-riding event will assist the Ware family with medical and travel expenses and help ease their financial burden so both parents can be readily available for Rowdy and their four other children.

"There are really no words to adequately describe the love and support our family has felt throughout this entire journey. From day one, our community has stepped in and offered support in every way imaginable," Rachel said. "We will forever be thankful for our community and so proud to call Prineville home."

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