WICHITA FALLS, TX - As you can imagine, the panhandle fires' impact will be felt by residents in those counties for a long time to come and many Texomans are coming together to help.
The Lowrance family runs an equine business in Bowie.
"Basically, what we do is we take horses that aren't making it as like cutting horses, reigning horses and cow horses and they'll go on to do different disciplines like, they'll be rope horses or barrel horses," Melanie Lowrance with Lowrance Horses said. "We buy and then we sell those horses to our customers. We are based here but we ship most of our horses out all over the country."
And they said the horse business and ranchers are close to one another and often work hand in hand, so when the family heard about the ranchers' devastation in the panhandle after the wildfires -- they knew they had to do something.
"It's important for everybody to know -- that it's really not even possible to describe how big of an impact this is going to have," Leman Wall with Working Ranch Cowboys Association said.
They held a stallion auction. One hundred percent of the proceeds will now go to the victims of the wildfires --- through the Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation.
"These people own a mare and they are wanting to breed that mare to this specific stallion and so they are literally buying a breeding contract which means they will either ship semen to them or they will bring their mares for live cover there on-site," Lowrance said.
Initially, they just put their stallion in the auction, then about 100 stallion owners decided to participate as well -- raising more than $100,000 in the process.
"So, we just wanted to try to do what we could to help out and we never dreamed it would be $100,000 worth, but you know, we thought if we could come up with $10,000 or something to help out a few people that would be great. But the losses are going to be in the millions so, it's really just a small… it's not much if you look at the big picture," Lowrance said.
The Working Ranch Cowboys Association has a foundation that supports scholarships -- as well as a crisis program -- like wildfire relief.
"The Lowrance family. What they did. It's unimaginable the generosity that that family put towards others. Many of people they don't even know," Wall said.
The money will first go to short term needs -- and eventually, since the impact of the fire will be felt for years to come -- it will help covering some long term needs.
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