Spurring Cancer out of Montana
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ARLEE — Brad Wieder dusted off his gear bag and unpacked his chaps to ride his first bull in 21 years during the Spur the Cancer out of Montana Rodeo on May 24. On a day when it was raining cowboys, the 52-year-old rode more than 5 seconds.
Leon Wieder, Brad’s son, said his dad competed in the bull riding because 2014 was Leon’s third and final year of the rough stock rodeo, which raises money for Leon’s Spur the Cancer out of Montana Foundation.
Leon, a 2009 Arlee High School grad, started the foundation in remembrance of Lynette Moran, Leon’s aunt, who died at age 43 after struggling with leukemia for eight years. Moran passed away in 2010. Now the foundation not only honors Moran but also helps other local folks.
Spur the Cancer out of Montana is a non-profit organization with 100 percent of the proceeds going to helping cancer patients and their families make it through financially, according to Leon’s Facebook page, Spur the Cancer Out of Montana.
The rodeo is a facet of the foundation.
This year Chocolate Thunder, a Professional Bull Riders short round bull, made a guest appearance at the rodeo. Wieder also said Bird Bucking Bulls, New West Rodeo, Pistol Creek Rodeo Company, Triplett Bucking Bulls and Hendrickson Bucking Bulls brought rough stock and provided pick up men. Stewart Schall and Jason Nentwig judged the event.
“The sponsorships were low, but the performances were good,” Leon said.
They bucked about 60 broncs and bulls and had quite a few barrel racers on May 24, Leon said.
With only one qualifying ride in the bull riding, Andrew Evjene, Two Dot, scored 52 and won $1,500, Leon said.
Willy and Patty Stevens donated a beaded headstall that was auctioned off at the rodeo, too.
“Everything that’s made at this rodeo goes back to different organizations I’ve set up (such as Spur the Cancer out of Montana) or local people who need help,” Leon said. “Gas money is the main thing because it isn’t covered under insurance.”
Rodeos aren’t the only fundraisers for Leon’s foundation. In 2011, he rode 600 miles across Montana and raised $20,000 for the foundation.
He was honored in 2012 with a ServeMontana award, given to outstanding national service members, community volunteers and organizations.
But Leon’s not resting on his laurels, because on June 8 he will saddle up for a 656-mile jaunt across the hi-line. While making money for the organization, he would like to average 48 miles per day on his ride — so far, his best day is 38 miles.