Roy Rogers, the boy from Duck Run who grew into the on-screen Trigger riding cowboy, may have become known for bravery, shootouts or singing voice, but that did not stop him from being a role model to those around him.
In keeping his high moral standards alive, every year Pastor Tim Throckmorton presents the Roy Rogers Character Awards. This year was the fourth annual Roy Rogers Character Awards Breakfast. This year’s recipients included Wheelersburg 8th grader Hannah Arthur, Northwest 11th grader Sydnie Jenkins and community leader Wayne Allen, who has written local news for decades while also taken part in various civic activities.
To be considered, recipients had to write an essay and have recommendations.
State Representative Terry Johnson came out to help honor awardees.
“We have a lot of people from Southern Ohio that we need to lift up and be proud of, an awful lot of people,” Johnson stated.
Johnson went on to explain that Rogers is known for his large character both on and off the screen. He explained that the cowboy has a national club – The Roy Rogers Riders Club – that was open to children in the 1940s. Any child that sent Rogers his/her name and address would be welcomed into the club with a Rogersgram that arrived by Trigger Express. Rogers would send children a copy of the club rules, which encouraged them to be brave, helpful and kind; to listen to their parents; and to respect God and country.
“Now, some of you will remember that Roy Rogers was entertainment. We would turn on the TV, and that was Roy Rogers. All this kids loved Roy Rogers, and Trigger and Dale and all the things that was on that show,” Johnson stated after reading the club rules. “This club was wildly successful across the United States. Turn on the TV today and which of any of these things are lifted up for our children?”
Johnson praised Rogers for the moral compass he provided for his fans and reminded all in attendance how significant it is to recognize strong character – character such as those displayed in Allen, Jenkins and Arthur.
Following the presentation by Johnson, former Asst. Secretary of State Monty Lobb added to the discussion by explaining that when he was a new father, he was concerned about teaching his son right and wrong. He explained that he, of course, would do his best as a father. Still, he knew one day his son would be exposed to culture and entertainment and would need some foundation, some icon of good and evil and all the themes that go along with it. He turned to Rogers. As his son and even daughter grew up with their cowboy hats and boots and toy guns, they also learned important concepts about how they should behave and treat each other.
“We aught to do something to lift up this whole idea of character,” he stated.
By lifting up individuals doing good works within the community, Lobb and all involved in the breakfast helped to lift up the idea of character.
Joining in the festivities was this year’s Roy Rogers Festival stars including Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island Dawn Wells and Duke from Gomer Pyle USMC Ronnie Schell and the festival board. The awards breakfast was made possible from sponsors such as OSCO Industries, Glockner Chevrolet, Lucasville Giovanni’s, Scioto County Commissioners, Snyder Printing, Scioto County Community Action and Larry Moore Trophies and Sports.