Levi Dakin Ranch Rodeo Saturday benefits Myakka City Foundation, American Cancer Society

dgraham@bradenton.comMarch 29, 2013 

MYAKKA CITY -- Bull riding, bucking broncs and a calf scramble for the youngsters will benefit the Myakka City Foundation and the American Cancer Society beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday at the second annual Levi Dakin Ranch Rodeo at Circle S Rodeo, 32450 Clay Gully Road, Myakka City.

Calf riding and branding, bronc riding, double mugging (where cowboys team up on the bull), team doctoring, junior bull and pro bull riding are all part of a ranch rodeo, which is a competition based on handling basic cowboy ranch chores. Gates open at 1 p.m.

"The basic theme is competing, different teams competing in the work that they do on a daily basis. They turn it into a fun little sport. I get the biggest kick out it. I think it's great," said Myakka City Fire Chief Danny Cacchiotti.

Cacchiotti remembers Levi Dakin as a child.

"You had to have been to the rodeo last year to appreciate the outpouring of affection," he said. "It was phenomenal to see the people coming to wish him well. They supported who he was and what he was going through. For him it was a very long, difficult year."

The first rodeo raised $47,000 to help pay medical bills for Dakin, who died Oct. 4, 2012. Owner Vic Scarbrough of Circle S Rodeo committed to make the benefit an annual event for his old friend.

"He was very good kid, a family man. He came from a good family. Pretty much, he was born and raised here in Myakka and so was I," Scarbrough said. "We used to hang out. We did a lot of team roping."

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for those 5 and younger. A portion of the proceeds will go to Dakin's children's trust fund.

"We have activities for the kids, including a bounce house, pony rides, calf scramble and Easter egg scramble," said Lisa Yow, event coordinator.

Children ages 7-12 can join in the calf scramble, where a bandanna is tied to a calf's ear and the animal is set loose in the arena. The first child to get the bandanna from the calf wins the prize.

For youngsters 6 and younger, the Easter egg scramble has prize eggs mixed in among the colored eggs.

Mosaic has donated a side of beef to be raffled off. Raffle tickets cost $5 with proceeds going to the Myakka City Foundation. A guitar signed by musicians Trace Atkins and Neel McCoy will be auctioned, too.

"We chose the Myakka City Foundation because what they do is help needy families in the Myakka City area," Scarbrough said. "We made the decision because it's not a very old organization and we're trying to help them get on their feet."

The foundation mission is to financially assist Myakka City residents struggling financially due to life-threatening illness, chronic illness or a major accident resulting in significant medical attention requirements.

The foundation will have a food booth and a silent auction with the American Cancer Society.

Scarbrough participates in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, partly inspired after the death of his father in 2010.

"What they will be doing is having a bake sale and they also have items in the silent auction," he said.

There are viewing stands but attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs as seating is limited.

Dee Graham, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, Ext. 7027, or tweet@DeeGrahamBH.

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