The Silver Spurs Riding Club honored its 2020 Coca-Cola Cowboy and Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients with a reception at the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s ranch in Kenansville on Jan. 24.
Steve Wysong and Mike White were honored as Coca-Cola Cowboys while Fran McLaughlin and Nina Sue Crowell received the Women’s Lifetime Achievement award. These prestigious awards recognize Silver Spurs Riding Club members who have worked diligently to promote ranching and the rodeo way of life.
Born in Richmond, Ind., Steve Wysong was raised on a farm in Eaton, Ohio, until his family moved to Kissimmee in 1955. Married to Jeannie Wysong for more than 53 years, they had and raised two children in Kissimmee; Stephanie and Steve.
In the mid-1980s, Steve and his wife joined the Silver Spurs Riding Club and volunteered by riding in the Osceola County Sheriff ’s Office Mounted Patrol during the rodeo performances.
A proud Osceola High School “Kowboy” graduate, Steve worked with the Osceola County Sheriff ’s Office for more than 30 years, retiring in 2006.
Mike White is a Kissimmee native, but lived in St. Cloud, raising cattle for most of his life. Growing up in Osceola County, White and his family attended many Silver Spurs Rodeos, and eventually rode in the Silver Spurs Rodeo Quadrille with some of his siblings.
White and his wife, Kathy, joined the Silver Spurs Riding Club in the late 1970s. Some of Mike’s first jobs with the Silver Spurs Riding Club were helping with the Silver Spurs Rodeo Parade and selling rodeo tickets.
One of Mike’s fondest memories with the organization was becoming “Big Boss,” also known as president, to the Silver Spurs Riding Club in 1994.
Nina Sue Simmons Crowell was born on Oct. 7, 1936, in Kissimmee to the late Henry Tolle and Ruby Louise Fletcher Simmons. A resident of Dayton Mountain, Tenn., since 1993, Nina Sue lived most of her life in Kissimmee. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education from Florida State University, then went on to receive a master’s degree in early childhood development from the University of Central Florida. While teaching for more than 30 years, Nina Sue joined the Silver Spurs Riding Club in the early 1980s working in the concessions stands.
Frances McLaughlin was born in Quincy, Fla., on June 6, 1946. After graduating from Summerlin Institute, in Bartow in 1964, she moved to Kissimmee and was employed with Bunson and McWhirter Survey. Married to Richard McLaughlin, they ran a plant nursery and had three sons: Richard Jr., Ryan, and Randy.
One of Fran’s biggest contributions to the Silver Spurs Riding Club was the introduction of the Special Rodeo.
The Special Rodeo is a private, family-fun event the Silver Spurs Riding Club holds every Sunday during the February rodeo for children with special needs.
The Silver Spurs Rodeo is the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi. It is the culmination of the work done by the Silver Spurs Riding Club; an all-volunteer, non-profit organization started in 1941 by Osceola County ranchers who began the rodeo in 1944, selling war bonds as admission to raise funds for our military.