Boot scootin’ and fundraisin’

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Hundreds gathered Saturday night as Don Shiver was honored at the 75th annual Madisonville Sidewalk Cattleman’s Association Steak Dinner.

Shiver, owner of Madisonville’s Shivco Termite and Pest Control, was recognized as a longtime MSCA board member who has significantly contributed to the organization as a past president and a board member for more than two decades. Shiver was joined by his wife Diann and sons Dex and D.L.

Shiver said that MCSA board president Wes Hammit called him prior to the dinner to let him know he would be honored.

“I was overwhelmed,” Shiver said. “I said, ‘Are you sure you made the right choice?’ I appreciate it very much.”

Shiver was recognized by last year’s honoree, Dave Ward.

Hammit said Monday that board members are still tallying up funds raised from the $50-per-ticket steak dinner. Last year more than $7,000 in scholarship funds were awarded to five Madisonville students; this year MSCA added North Zulch students to the scholarship pool.

“We just want to make sure the kids get taken care of,” Hammit said. “Any time the economy is bad and there’s a lack of oil money, it hurts us, but early returns show we did well this year. This was our first year bringing back the heifer auction. I think we did a great job.”

Madisonville High School Band Director Stephanie Schmidt stepped up at the last minute after the event’s planned wait staff fell through. Schmidt did what she knows best – directing – as her crew of high school band members carried trays of steak, potatoes and iced tea to more than 700 attendees.

“They’ve done a really good job this year,” Shiver said. “It’s bigger and better.”

Following dinner, an auction and the recognition of Shiver, guests were entertained by country band Blackhawk.

“It seemed like everybody had a good time,” Hammit said.

The MSCA’s next event is a barbecue cookoff May 20-21 at the American Legion/MSCA grounds in Madisonville.

Kids cook on Friday night. The fee is $10 to enter, and MSCA provides a pork tenderloin chop to the young chefs.

For the barbecue cookoff, categories include brisket, pork spare ribs and chicken. It costs $160 to enter, and cash prizes will be awarded. Contests also will be held for pinto beans and chili, margaritas and bloody Marys, open (no desserts, chicken, pork spare ribs or brisket) and dessert cooked on a pit. Contest fee is $10 per entry.

Hammit said the cookoff is also a large fundraiser. The organization is also planning to bring back an annual trail ride, and invites anyone interested in helping to contact a board member.

According to its website, the Madisonville Sidewalk Cattlemen’s Association was organized in 1941. The term “sidewalk cattleman” was coined by former Madisonville Meteor editor Henry Fox. Fox wrote about people who wore cowboy boots but didn’t actually own cows.

“The idea took hold and an organization was formed complete with rules for wearing cowboy boots and penalties to be assessed for infractions of those rules,” states the MSCA website. “Today, the custom is to dunk violators in the horse trough on the courthouse lawn.”

More information about the organization and its events can be accessed at http://sidewalkcattlemens.com/.

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