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07.16.2016
Bill is No Bully Returns to Cheyenne Frontier Days with Anti-Bullying Storytime

Back by popular demand and recommended for every family attending Cheyenne Frontier Days, Bill is No Bully Storytime returns for the second consecutive year to spread the message that “bullying” is not acceptable behavior, even for a bucking bull.

Former bullfighter Gary “Roach” Hedeman, and the pet bucking bull Bill, will be returning to Cheyenne Frontier Days for daily “Storytime with Bill” located on the Old Frontier Town aisle.

"Championship Bull Riding was looking for a way to contribute to the communities that host our events, this has been a great way to give back to the fans while educating about such an important message to our children and grandchildren," said CBR Chief Executive Officer, Benny Cude.

Each child sitting in for Storytime with Bill will hear the tale, have an opportunity to pet the real bull as well as participate in a coloring contest. The Bill is No Bully Storytime will be featured daily alongside Bill, the real life seven-year-old bovine inspiration during Cheyenne Frontier Days Old Frontier Town Friday, July 22 - Tuesday, July 26. Storybooks are available following the readings.

“Bill is No Bully is a great tool to communicate with kids while at the same time increasing awareness about bullying in schools and in life,” said Hedeman.

Bill is No Bully is a story about a bull that doesn’t fit in. The other bulls in the pasture, famous bucking bulls, encourage Bill to be mean. When Bill takes a different path he is met with resistance.  While he chooses to be nice to everyone the other bucking bulls make fun of Bill and insist he would be no good as bucking stock unless he were mean; bullies like them.

The book, written and illustrated by Hedeman’s wife Cindy, is part of an anti-bullying presentation from CBR that makes use of a live bull to interact with the children. Bill will be making his second appearance in the Old Frontier Town.

It’s a story that appeals to rodeo fans and beyond and is presented via a larger-than-life story book brought to Cheyenne by Championship Bull Riding.

“We read the book, and the illustrations flash on the screen, and we talk about bullying and what Bill does to confront the bullies in the book and what we can do in real life to confront bullies,” Roach Hedeman explained and added, “then after it’s all said and done they get to go by and see a real live bull that weighs 1720 pounds.”

The presentations began in 2015 on the Road to Cheyenne and since the first reading over 15,500 students have heard his message.

“Bullying is such a big problem these days, the only way we’re going to have an effect on it is if we start young,” Hedeman said. The target ages are kindergarten through fifth grade, but while in Cheyenne all are welcome to sit on a bale of hay and listen to the story and pet the bull.

“The kids love it and get to see that a real live bull doesn’t have to be mean, so it’s pretty cool,” continued Hedeman.

The real-life Bill is a 7-year-old Charolaise owned by Alexis Bradford and taken on the road by Roach Hedeman to spread the message of the book.

Like his character in the book, Bill is definitely not mean. He recently shot a commercial for Purex Laundry detergent and it is currently airing on all the major networks. He received a standing ovation daily from the actors and crew working with the gentle giant.

“Bill is a fun loving bull. He loves attention. He loves to be petted on. You can just scratch him under his chin, and he’ll put his head right down on you.”

Bill translates that good nature when the kids come to pet him too. One instance in particular stands out to Hedeman. “We had a blind girl who couldn’t see who got to feel all over [Bill], pet him, touch his horns, touch his nose, and that was pretty cool to see her experience that,” he said.

One teacher can attest to that positive feedback. Amy Sanders is a science teacher in Sedan, Kansas.

“I think it’s a really large problem, and anytime that you can talk about it, it just makes it easier for kids to come forward and to deal with those kinds of issues,” Amy Sanders said of bullying.

“Bill is No Bully is a great tool to communicate with kids while at the same time increasing awareness about bullying in schools,” said Hedeman.

Gary “Roach” Hedeman is among the rare group of cowboys who has been a participant in all facets of the rodeo industry. In addition to raising the 2006 World Champion bucking bull Biloxi Blues, some of Hedeman’s proudest accomplishments are being asked to fight bulls at the 1989 Texas Circuit Finals, 1996 National Finals Rodeo and the 1996, 1997, 1998, & 1999 Professional Bull Riders World Finals. He is the elder brother to 4 time World Champion Bull Rider and CBR Chute Boss, Tuff Hedeman, who is in Cheyenne producing the CBR World Finals at CFD on Monday and Tuesday, July 25-26.

Bill we be available from 10:30 am to 1 pm daily from Friday, July 22 – Tuesday, July 26 in the Frontier Town section of Cheyenne Frontier Days. He will also demonstrate his interactive anti-bullying skills when Hedeman rides him during the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo Grand Entry amongst all the horses and other specialty acts on Tuesday, July 26th.

For more information, photos and interview requests -  contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or leighann@theshortround.com 


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