Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


February 19, 2013

You’d be NUTS not to attend

The annual Texas Testicle Festival helps raise charity money while patrons glorify God, appreciate Cal Farley – and, generally, have a ball!

JACKSONVILLE — It is a highly-successful, long-standing, March fundraiser.

Each year, this exciting trip through cowboy culture generates thousands of much-needed dollars to benefit the children of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch.

The ultimate goal of the event is to glorify God and celebrate the achievements of Farley – an  American professional wrestler and businessman who has been called "America's Greatest Foster Father."

Plus? There are testicles involved.

Sunday, March 10, marks the debut of the 21st-Annual Texas Testicle Festival. Organizers say area residents would be nuts if they didn't come out to have a ball.

The event at the Cherokee County Show Barn, 611 SE Loop 456, in Jacksonville, starts with a church service at 10:30 a.m. March 10.

The food there can't be beat, organizers said. There will be generous helpings of calf testicles – otherwise known as "calf fries" – in addition to fried fish, brisket, and pork.

This event ultimately uses the symbol of the gonad – otherwise known as the reproductive organ, chicken nugget, stone or teste –  as a bully pulpit to attract the attention of area residents for an exceptional cause.

But the  ultimate goal is to glorify the almighty "by reaching our community teaching and expanding the word of God" as well as celebrating Farley's achievements," organizers said.

Despite its testicularly-centered business model, the event is designed to provide fun for the entire family with superlative gospel music and an enlightening “Cowboy Church” service.

Hundreds are expected to attend the TTF, which will include a live auction benefiting Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch and a team roping benefiting the local Junior Livestock Show.

The TTF is held the second Sunday of March every year.

It's not just a lukewarm festival. Area residents Linda and Roy Yates have gone as far as to say involvement in TTF changed their lives.

"We got involved helping people and found a cowboy church where we serve our Lord," the couple said in their TTF website statement.

After the church service and gospel music begins at 10:30 a.m., there will be a 12:30 p.m. auction and lunch chock full of the aforementioned dishes.

Residents are urged to bring a covered dish – and not to forget that daylight savings time begins that day at 2 a.m. (Turn your clocks ahead one hour).

Farley, incidentally, has a fascinating story. He once was a small boy from the north known by his friends as “shrimp” because of his small stature. He was also well-known for his passion for wrestling, baseball, and general sports.

While serving during World War I, Farley taught groups of 11- and 12-year-old German boys how to play sports. He later moved to Amarillo, met and married his wife Mimi, and commenced teaching Panhandle children how to play baseball.

To help children with dismal home situations, Farley founded America's first boys ranch, which is funded completely on donations – meaning the more money that is generated by donations, the better for the children.

Farley also founded Girlstown USA.

The festival is proof "that when you allow God to take charge of something that seems to be so small and irrelevant. Amazing Things Can Happen!" TTF member Brandi Bannister said in a  comment posted on the website.

To inquire further, contact Patti Holman, 903-586-4450; Brandy Bannister, 903-571-1005; Linda Yates, 903-284-8373 (or email nfrdad02@yahoo.com); or John and Judy Barber, 903-586-8174.


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