Healthy Living

The Annual Chase Anderson RoundUp Rodeo Honors Teens with Muscular Dystrophy

The Annual Chase Anderson RoundUp Rodeo Honors Teens with Muscular Dystrophy

Every year, the Chase Anderson Roundup Rodeo opens up their doors for visitors with special needs and gives them the complete "rodeo experience." Not only is this event aimed to help patients and their families have fun, it also honors the life of Chase Anderson, a boy who suffered from both muscular dystrophy and autism.

In 2011, Anderson passed away at the age of 16. Anderson’s sister and RoundUp Rodeo President, Austee VonAhn, said the event runs in conjunction with the Chase Anderson Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Rodeo on Friday and Saturday evenings.

This year’s rodeo experience was held at the Rockin A Arena in Palmyra. The RoundUp, which was added to the rodeo event following its third year, opened its doors  for people of all ages and those with special needs. They are escorted by their buddies — volunteers who accompany them through each of the attractions.

The roundups activities ranged from riding therapeutic horses, dancing, cattle-roping, riding mechanical bulls, and face-painting.

The attendance for the RoundUp Rodeo has been consistently growing every year, with 2018 setting a registration record. People who attended the event see the rodeo as something that brings joy to a lot of people, especially for the kids and those with significant needs.

Funds raised through the Chase Anderson MDA Rodeo go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a donation.

The Chase Anderson Rodeo's advocacy and impact on people with special needs

The Chase Anderson MDA Memorial Rodeo commonly takes place on a Friday and Saturday at the Rockin A Arena near Palmyra. The first ever rodeo, which was launched in 2012, helped raise over $25,000 for the families of muscular dystrophy patients within Illinois.

In its second year, the MDA Anderson hosted its annual rodeo event for kids and teens suffering from cancer. Since some of them were not able to go visit the rodeo, the MDA Anderson Cancer Center brought the experience to their patients.

Families and patients felt that this event allowed them to have a break away from their hospital bed. The event also offered them a sense of normalcy.