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Rumble on the Red Returns to Altus

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ALTUS Okla_ Get your cowboy hats and boots ready, the second annual "Rumble in the Red" Memorial Rodeo in Altus kicks off on Saturday.

It'll be held at the Great Plains Stampede Rodeo Arena. The event involves high school participants from Oklahoma and Texas. It was named in honor of 18 year-olds Ed Drury and Aaron Custer who were killed in a car accident in October 2011.

Riley Drury is the older sister of Ed Drury. She said the event was originally "Rumble on the Red", a rodeo rivalry between high school students from Oklahoma and Texas. She said in 2008, at this very same event, Ed from Oklahoma met Aaron from Texas. The two boys became fast friends and grew almost as close as brothers, until that day in 2011 that took their lives.

Riley said life has not been easy for both families since, but honoring them with one of their favorite activities helps keep their memory alive.

The Great Plains Stampede Rodeo Arena is quiet now, but come Saturday morning, thousands of people will pack the stands, all honoring the memory of Ed Drury and Aaron Custer.

Riley Drury said it's an overwhelming feeling.

"It was kind of a whirlwind, because it happened so fast from the time of the accident to the time of the rodeo last year," Riley said.

She said the event here last year attracted more than 2,000 people and helped raise over $100,000. She said it was a response Ed and Aaron would have been happy to see.

"I look back, and I was just in awe and shock at the amount of people that came out of the wood work and said, ‘What can we do here?,'" Riley said. "We had people running the equipment at 3:00 in the morning, and they just showed us the giving spirit."

Riley said it's the same attitude the boys had about life.

"Both boys were the type of people you could call in the middle of the afternoon, at school, working, whatever and say 'I need help,'" Riley said. "They would leave, drop whatever they were doing, and come help you out."

She said she's hoping people will come out and enjoy the roping, barrel racing and bulls, but she wants people to walk away with something greater.

"I hope they can take away maybe a friendship built, a friendship strengthened or a relationship affected for the better," Riley said, "Just to show kind of the spirit of the boys, because that's they were about. They were about bettering other people and making them feel good about themselves."

Riley said all the proceeds raised will go toward student scholarships and organizations in Oklahoma and Texas, in the name of Ed and Aaron.

The Rumble on the Red Memorial Rodeo is this Saturday and Sunday. The rodeo starts at 8:00 AM.

For more information on the rodeo, call 580-318-2186 or e-mail rumbleonthered@gmail.com.

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