Crowds gathered in the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum on Friday for an evening of felt cowboy hats, fundraising and to catch a glimpse of some stars from the TV drama series, “Yellowstone” at the 27th annual Careity Celebrity Cutting event.
Lyn Walsh and Beverly Branch, co-founders of Careity, said for the first time since its origins, this year the Celebrity Cutting event was sold out.
The Careity Foundation provides direct patient care to cancer patients in North Texas, offering a range of services for different kinds of cancer, not just breast cancer, and assists both men and women, Walsh said.
Services include mammograms, diagnostics, biopsies and surgeries. Careity also offers ways to help with a patient’s healing journey with social worker and chaplain services, reflexology, acupuncture and more.
“These national organizations have always received all the accolades from everybody, but they don’t really help people locally, they’re not direct patient services,” Walsh said.
Events like the Celebrity Cutting help raise money through donations, sponsorships and a silent auction.
The cutting event brought out familiar faces for fans of “Yellowstone”.
The fourth season of the TV series started airing on Paramount Network in November with new episodes on Sundays.
Branch said all the celebrities who attended came to the event on their own expense. The venue was donated by The National Cutting Horse Association.
Jefferson White, who plays “Jimmy” on the show, said Careity stands out from other organizations because of how the foundation recognizes a cancer diagnosis impacts every part of someone’s life beyond medical needs.
This was White’s third year supporting and competing in the Celebrity Cutting event.
In the Old West competition of cutting, competitors must select a single calf from the herd, gently guide it into the center of the arena and prevent it from ducking past the horse and escaping back into the herd.
White said the first time he competed in the cutting for Careity was in 2019 and remains grateful for the opportunity to be involved.
“No matter how the competition goes, it’s obviously for a great cause,” he said. “If I can embarrass myself for the sake of charity, that’s a tremendous gift that I’m lucky to have.”
Forrie J. Smith, who plays “Lloyd”, also competed in the cutting event and said he felt more pressure leading up to the competition because his family was watching the event live-streamed from Montana. In preparation for the Careity event, Smith said he started practicing a week before in Celina, where he was awarded the key to the city.
“It’s the closest thing to riding bucking horses,” he said in regards to cutting.
Smith started competing in the rodeo when he was 8-years-old, but he started making acting his career as he got older.
“I miss it, I miss it,” he said. “I miss rodeo every day but the body can’t do it anymore so I’m doing acting.”
Before the cutting competition began, Mayor Mattie Parker, Nicole Sheridan, wife of “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan, and Kelly Reilly, who plays “Beth Dutton”, all spoke.
Reilly said her mother had breast cancer and recovered. Support, love and community all contributed to her mother’s recovery and she said those principles were something everybody could get behind.
In true “Beth” fashion, Reilly said, “Let’s kick some [redacted] ass!”