The Silver Spurs Riding Club honored its 2020 Coca-Cola Cowboy and Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients at a recent reception at the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s ranch in Kenansville.
Steve Wysong and Mike White are this year’s Coca-Cola Cowboys, and Fran McLaughlin and Nina Sue Crowell received the Women’s Lifetime Achievement award. The Silver Spurs uses these awards to recognize club members who have worked hard to maintain Osceola County’s ranching and rodeo heritage.
Wysong was born in Richmond, Indiana and his family moved to Kissimmee in 1955. He and his wife of 53 years Jeannie raised children Stephanie and Steve here. He worked with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office for more than 30 years, riding in the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol during the rodeo performances, before retiring in 2006. The Wysongs joined the Silver Spurs Riding Club as a couple in the mid-1980s.
Mike White grew up in Kissimmee, and attended Osceola High School, and spent his working years raising cattle in St. Cloud. White and his wife Kathy joined the Silver Spurs Riding Club in the late 1970s, and he rode in the Rodeo Quadrille with his siblings. After many years of volunteering, White became the Silver Spurs’ Big Boss in 1994.
Frances McLaughlin was born in Quincy, Florida, moving first to Bartow then to Kissimmee and married her husband Richard. Together they ran a plant nursery and raised sons Richard Jr., Ryan, and Randy. McLaughlin introduced the Special Rodeo, an invitation-only family event held the Sunday morning of the February rodeo for children with special needs.
Nina Sue Simmons Crowell was born in Kissimmee in 1936 before moving to Dayton Mountain, Tenn. in 1993, she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education from Florida State then went on to receive a master’s degree in early childhood development from the University of Central Florida. She was a teacher here for more than 30 years, and during that time Nina Sue joined the Silver Spurs Riding Club in the early 1980s, working in the concessions stands.
Silver Spurs Rodeo is back in action in Kissimmee’s Silver Spurs Arena beginning on Saturday, February 15th at 7:30pm with Monster Bulls. The following weekend the 144th Silver Spurs Rodeo will be back in the dirt on Friday February 21 at 7:30pm, Saturday February 22, and Sunday February 23 at 2pm. For tickets and information go to SilverSpursRodeo.com