Ravalli County Sheriff Steve Holton invites everyone to attend the Ravalli County Fair and Rockin’ RC Rodeo Friday evening for Ravalli County’s annual Man Up event. Man Up is a rodeo campaign to raise awareness of and end domestic violence. All spectators are encouraged to wear purple and show solidarity against domestic violence.
The mission of the Man Up Crusade is to reduce domestic violence in society and contribute to social change by promoting safe and healthy relationships through education, advocacy and funding community services and programs that share in our mission.
The Man Up Crusade was created by Canyon County Idaho Sheriff Kieran Donahue. Kieran grew up on a cattle ranch in Eastern Idaho and learned from an early age the definition of hard work and dedication. His western heritage taught him strong family values and gave him the strength to overcome trials and tribulations.
As Kieran’s career in law enforcement developed, he saw first-hand the traumatic affects that domestic violence has on victims and their families. Domestic Violence has become an epidemic in our society and is a public health and safety issue – it is with these facts in mind that Kieran began this journey called the Man Up Crusade.
Kieran and his wife Jeanie live the western lifestyle everyday and what a better tie in to their program than the American Cowboy…people all over the country idolize the cowboy image and the western way of life. The cowboy is an iconic figure of strength, conviction and fortitude. The cowboy never backs away from a job or never quits until the task before him is finished. The cowboy understands the fundamental belief that right is right and wrong is wrong. It is the goal of the Man Up Crusade to celebrate this courageous spirit and be an example to people everywhere that we can stand up for what is right and help put an end to domestic violence.
The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with the Ravalli County Fair, Northern Rodeo Association and the Rockin’ RC Rodeo to raise awareness of domestic violence in Ravalli County since 2018, and thanks to Ravalli County’s Rodeo Committee, was the first rodeo in Montana to sponsor a Man Up Crusade event. The Man Up booth is located under the grandstands where stickers, apparel, challenge coins and raffle tickets to some amazing items are available for purchase throughout the entire fair. 100% of the proceeds go to Safe In The Bitterroot (SAFE), our local shelter and advocacy center for victims of domestic violence.
Although the exact history of the purple ribbon is difficult to pinpoint, across the country, families of victims have adopted the purple ribbon to remember and honor their loved ones who have lost their lives at the hands of a person they once loved and trusted. Shelters and local battered women’s programs use the purple ribbon to raise awareness about the crime of domestic violence in their communities. In addition to the demonstration of support for victims and advocates, the display of purple ribbons throughout a community conveys a powerful message that there is no place for domestic violence in the homes, neighborhoods, workplaces or schools of its citizens.
During the Friday night rodeo, one bull and one bareback bronc will be powdered purple. If the contestant makes their ride on this “bounty stock”, they will receive an additional $200.00 paycheck and a 2021 Montana Silversmiths Man Up belt buckle. The bounty bull and bronc are all sponsored by local individual and business donations and the balance of the donations will all go to SAFE.
Please join in this Friday at the rodeo, wear purple, purchase items to benefit SAFE, and help “break the cycle of domestic violence.”
The Man Up Crusade is supported by the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and the Western States Sheriffs Association.