Bill is a busy bull.
When he’s not traveling the highways and byways of the U.S., he is visiting schools spreading his message of bullying awareness with this handler, Roach Hedeman.
Bill and Hedeman live in Bowie, Texas. Hedeman, brother of legendary bull rider Tuff Hedeman, is a reknown bullfighter and bullfighting judge. He, along with his wife, elementary school teacher Cindy, are passionate about bullying prevention, and will bring that message to Monroe County later this month.
“I’ve seen some posts on Facebook about some (bullying) issues here, so I thought maybe he should come to Monroe County,” said Jim Probst, a Waterloo Optimist Club member and owner of bulls in the Championship Bull Riding circuit.
This program is targeted at children in first through fifth grades. Bill and Hedeman can do four shows a day, with up to 200 kids per show. They teach bullying awareness through presentations, information, a book written by Cindy called “Bill is No Bully,” and visits with Billy the Bull himself.
Bill and Roach will be stopping at Monroe County schools Sept. 16-18, and will also be on hand during the Waterloo Optimist Club Blue Army Bull Bash Championship Bull Riding event on Sept. 19 at the Monroe County Fairgrounds.
His first stop will be Sept. 16 at the Valmeyer school in the morning followed by visits with SPPCS and Zahnow Elementary students in Waterloo in the afternoon. On Sept. 17, he will be at Rogers and Gardner elementary schools in Waterloo, and on Sept. 18, he will make stops in Columbia.
The Optimists are accepting donations to fund Bill’s visit.
“To get him here for three days is about $3,000,” Probst said.
Local community organizations such as Lions and Rotary clubs, men’s clubs and more have been asked to chip in for this good cause.
Cindy’s book, “Bill is No Bully,” can also be purchased through the schools to help defray some of the costs.
All the students Bill and Roach visit will receive coloring sheets to complete and bring to the Bull Bash to be entered into drawings for attendance prizes.
Children ages 10 and under are admitted to the event free of charge.
Tickets to the Waterloo Optimist Club’s Blue Army Bull Bash are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. For more information on the event, or to make a donation to help with Bill and Roach’s travel expenses, visit www.WaterlooILOptimist.org.