STEPHENS COUNTY, Okla. (TNN) - It’s a pain no parent should ever have to bear, but it’s one Rowdy Swanson’s family has felt since September 17. The young OSU Rodeo Team member died, competing in a bull riding contest in Mineral Wells, Texas.
Rowdy’s dad, Jarrel, reflecting back on his love for the sport.
“He’d eat, sleep and breathe bull riding,” said Swanson. “That’s all he wanted. It’s one of those things as a parent, you gotta say, ‘Man, how much longer is he going to do this?’ It’s hard to watch them do it. But he just loved it.”
The Swanson’s have received tremendous support over the last few weeks. Even the most accomplished bull riders, reaching out.
“There has been so many people contact us,” Swanson said. “Even some big name bull riders that have been around for forever. Tuff Hedeman reached out to the family along with Cody Custer, who also preached the funeral. He was a 1992 PRCA World Champion.”
Rowdy’s family is making sure his memory stays alive through an endowed scholarship with the OSU Foundation.
“It’s the Rowdy Swanson Memorial Scholarship,” said Dusty Bedwell, with the OSU Foundation. “They’re trying to get it to the endowment level which is $25,000.”
Fundraising efforts to hit $25,000 are currently underway and you can help. Donations to the Rowdy Swanson Memorial Scholarship can be made at any BancFirst location.
Decals are being sold for $10 and hats are being made to sell as well. All money raised, going to the endowment to help further another student’s future.
“We’re going to set it up to help the less fortunate kids who want to go to school,” said Swanson. “But the main thing is to help the OSU Rodeo Team recruit better bull riders.”
If you would like to purchase a hat or a decal, contact Jarrel Swanson at (580) 656-5468. To learn more about the endowment or to donate, visit philanthropete.osugiving.com.