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When the last tennis ball had been picked up from the Williamson County Ag Expo Park’s arena during the April 2nd and 3rd Walkabout Tour, the Alexander Neville Foundation raised $30,317. The non-profit organization works to bring awareness to the illicit fentanyl epidemic sweeping the country and has personal ties to Downunder Horsemanship. The foundation is named after Alexander Neville, the grandson of Method Ambassador Rick Badousek who was killed by fentanyl when he was 14. Alexander’s parents Amy and Aaron created the foundation after their son’s death.
When Clinton learned about Alexander and the foundation that Amy and Aaron set up, he wanted to support their efforts. At every Walkabout Tour, he teams up with Ritchie Industries, the feature sponsor of the events, to select a non-profit organization to run the Ritchie Charity Ball Toss. Throughout the weekend, the group raises money by selling tennis balls that are used in the Ritchie Ball Toss. During the ball toss, people throw their tennis balls into the arena trying to be the closest to a marker. Owners of the balls that land the closest to the marker receive huge prizes – from a collection of training videos to tack and equipment.
Clinton figured the best way to help the foundation and raise awareness about the dangers of illicit fentanyl was to have the foundation be the charity group at this year’s tours. On Saturday morning of the Franklin, Tennessee event, he issued a challenge to horsemen in the crowd: If they bought $10,000 worth of tennis balls, he’d personally match their earnings. They took him up on the challenge, buying every single tennis ball and then some to raise $10,317. On top of that, the Massey family, who live in Tennessee and are longtime customers of Downunder Horsemanship and friends of Clinton, donated an additional $10,000 to the foundation. Thanks to the generosity of attendees, Clinton and the Massey family, the Alexander Neville Foundation left the event with $30,317.
“It’s devastating what Rick and his family have gone through losing Alexander to fentanyl. I admire their dedication to raising awareness in an effort to help other families and prevent future tragedies,” Clinton says. “I’m incredibly proud of how the horsemen at the tour came together to support the foundation. We had fun raising money, and it just goes to show how great of a community Downunder Horsemanship really is.”
Learn more about the Alexander Neville Foundation and the important work it’s doing on its website.