• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 32s

Rodeo Alaska members buck up to support injured riders

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: John Thain - 8:18 PM June 13, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

As cowboys at a bull riding clinic in Palmer prepare to kick off the start of rodeo season, they can’t help but feel a void.

On their minds are fellow bull riders Mike Sunderland, 19, and Ryan Palmer, 21.

“Its just tragic. Nobody wants to see that happen to their friends,” Bull rider Kraig Morris said.

On June 3 the men rolled a car several times before hitting a tree. Since then Tammy Sunderland has lost her son five times.

“I called the hospital. They said he’d been air flighted and that his heart was beating but he wasn’t breathing on his own and that’s all we knew,” Tammy explained.

But yesterday Mike woke up. He has traumatic brain injury, and is on a long journey to recovery.

“A common phrase for us since he’s woke up is just eight seconds Michael. You can do this for eight seconds. We know you can,” Tammy said.

Ryan is down the hall at Providence with a broken femur and pelvis.

This weekend Rodeo Alaska is asking people to buck up for a good cause – to help ease medical expenses for Mike and Ryan.

“We just tip a cowboy hat upside down and folks give what they can afford to give,” Rodeo Alaska announcer Dan Fowlie said.

Alaska’s cowboy community is quick to contribute.

“I’m going to dedicate all my rides to Mike from now until he’s healed,” Morris said.

The strength to become a bull rider comes from within; the mentality of getting back on when you get knocked off.

“I’m sad he’s not going to be here but I know he’s going to be again,” Tammy said.

Rodeo Alaska will be passing the hat for Mike and Ryan all weekend, selling t-shirts for the cause, and taking donations online.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    2 suspects on the run following Jewel Lake sandwich shop robbery

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 09, 11:04

    Police are searching for two suspects following a robbery Tuesday morning at an Anchorage Subway restaurant. Just after 7 a.m. Tuesday two men wearing hooded sweatshirts and bandannas entered the sandwich shop on Jewel Lake Road near the intersection of Dimond Boulevard, according to Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro. Castro said one suspect appeared to […]

  • News

    Icebreaker, Alaska village funds in Obama proposed budget

    by Associated Press on Feb 09, 10:05

    President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget includes funding for construction of a new polar icebreaker and relocation costs for Alaska coastal communities threatened by erosion. But it faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled Congress. Obama visited Alaska in August. A White House press release says the budget contains proposals aimed at reducing risks of […]

  • Crime

    Jury selection begins for ex-UAF player’s sex assault trial

    by Associated Press on Feb 09, 8:05

    Jury selection has begun for the trial of a former University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey player accused of sexually assaulting a woman on campus. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that Nolan Youngmun is charged with two counts stemming from an April 5 incident in on-campus housing. Charging documents say Youngmun and another male visited a woman […]

  • News

    Diners charged months after eating at Anchorage restaurant

    by Bonney Bowman on Feb 08, 22:41

      ANCHORAGE — If you ate at a popular Anchorage restaurant recently, you might want to check your bank account. People who ate at Benihana in Anchorage toward the end of 2015 might finally be charged for their meal this week. Tanny Walker told KTVA she ate at the restaurant in November and the payment […]

  • News

    ‘Schools on the Edge’ Part One: Twin Hills

    by Daniella Rivera on Feb 08, 22:32

      ANCHORAGE — The State of Alaska is in a budget crisis, and one lawmaker says education is not off limits. Rep. Lynn Gattis said she wants to change how the state funds rural schools. Right now, a village needs a minimum of 10 students to get state funding. Gattis said she wants to see that number […]

  • News

    Lake Hood pilot: Air traffic control stretched too thin

    by Eric Ruble on Feb 08, 22:24

      ANCHORAGE — Arctic Flyers is one of the many small businesses that dot the shoreline of Lake Hood. The company’s owner, Rick Ruess, says recent flights into and out of the lake have made him nervous. For the last year, he says there is often one air traffic controller managing both Lake Hood and Ted […]

  • News

    Changing a neighborhood through community art

    by Heather Hintze on Feb 08, 21:21

      ANCHORAGE — Two Anchorage artists want to make Mountain View a more peaceful neighborhood. Aurora Sidney-Ando and Christina Determo started the Whale Song Peace Project. They’re creating a large sculpture for the neighborhood they hope will get people talking about ways to make positive changes. “It’s a call to action and to teach people […]

  • News

    15-year-old killed in Wasilla collision

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 08, 20:19

    A 15-year-old has died after being struck by a vehicle while he was out walking. The teen, identified as Austin Edenfield, was walking on the shoulder of Pittman Road Monday afternoon when a southbound vehicle struck him, according to Alaska State Troopers. Troopers were notified of the collision just after 3 p.m. When they arrived […]