Instead of asking for presents for their wedding, Wrangler National Finals Rodeo-qualifying bareback rider Bill Tutor and his wife, Ashlyn, asked that donations be made to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.
“We just didn’t need anything,” Tutor said. “I know sometimes people want to give when you get married, so we figured the JCCF is a great organization, and they could certainly use it more than we could.”
Unlike most professional sports, rodeo athletes don’t get paid for sitting on the bench. Cowboys only get paid if they win, and there’s no chance of getting paid if a cowboy is injured and unable to compete.
The JCCF is the safety net for injured cowboys to provide financial assistance for everything, from keeping the fridge full to medical bills to keeping a roof over their head. Since its inception in the early 1990s, the JCCF has assisted more than 1,100 injured rodeo athletes and their families with more than $8 million. All that money was generated through donations, with 100 percent of donations going toward helping injured cowboys.
“We knew with the Crisis Fund that it would go to fellow cowboys and cowgirls,” Ashlyn Tutor said.
Although the 27-year-old Huntsville, Texas, cowboy hasn’t used the JCCF for assistance while injured, Bill Tutor recognizes the impact of the JCCF.
“It helps cowboys,” Bill Tutor said. “Sometimes bad things happen, ]they’re inevitable. It just comes with the sport, so they are there to give a hand up, and that’s important. We are appreciative of them and what they do.”
The Tutors were married Nov. 3. Donations came in before and after the wedding. Bill and Ashlyn don’t know how much was donated to the JCCF on their behalf, but they said it’s a decent amount based on the letters they received letting them know who donated.
“We got a ton of those letters, some with 20 people listed,” Ashlyn Tutor said.
Bill Tutor qualified for the Wrangler NFR in 2017 and 2018. He ranked eighth in the average at the 2017 Wrangler NFR and went on to finish 11th in the 2017 world standings.
Unfortunately, his second trip to the Thomas & Mack Center entered in injury. Before being ruled out with a broken collarbone after the fifth round, Tutor had earned $34,327. He again ended the season ranked 11th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings.
“We did this (gathered donations) and then Bill got hurt,” Ashlyn Tutor said. “Luckily we have good insurance, and it all comes full circle to see it help people.”
Tutor is expected to be back on the rodeo trail in time to compete at the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth, Texas, at the end of January.
For more information about JCCF or to donate, go to justincowboycrisisfund.org.
To read more about the Tutors donating to the JCCF, check out the Jan. 11, 2019, digital edition of ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA