For the small community of Calhan, it was an unimaginable tragedy. Fourteen-year-old Jae Ellis died in a car accident on Funk Road on the evening of Sept. 4; her brother, who was driving, was critically injured. The next morning, another accident on the same road, and in almost the same spot, claimed the life of Tiffany O’Neill, 16.
On Nov. 2, a benefit rodeo to help the Ellis and O’Neill families will be held at Latigo Arena in Black Forest. The rodeo is the brainchild of two young men, Stephen Heitmann and Justin Harper.
I talked last night with Stephen, 16, and Justin, 17. For the two, the idea of a benefit rodeo came naturally.
“We both rodeo ourselves,” Stephen said. “With our connections and what not, we thought it would be easy to put on a pretty big deal for them. And it turns out it’s going to be bigger than we could have ever thought.”
I’ll have more about the rodeo in my next Country Life column.