On July 17, Ross alumni and friends descended on the Wade Indoor Arena in Terrell, Texas for the third annual Fox Fest.
Fox Fest is an event designed to raise money for the Dr. Lanse T. Fox Memorial Organization, named in honor of a Ross alumnus who grew up in the neighboring town of Kaufman, Texas.
Lanse was many things: a musician, outdoorsman, cowboy, traveler, carpenter, son, and friend. He was also a veterinarian, who followed his passion to St. Kitts. Upon graduating from Ross, Lanse returned to practice in Texas, at the very same clinic where he worked as an undergraduate. Today, his life and career are honored with the Lanse T. Fox Endowed Memorial Scholarship, given to Ross and local veterinary students whose paths follow a similar trajectory.
By all accounts, Fox Fest was a success. To honor Lanse’s interest in roping, the event featured a roping competition. There was also a cook-off, open to anyone who wanted to compete. This year, 24 competitors prepared delicious barbecue-style chicken, spare ribs, and brisket. Entertainment was provided by Texas country music artist Max Stalling. And, a great deal of money was raised for the foundation -- about $40,000 from the silent and live auctions alone.
The silent auction had all kinds of trinkets and treasures on offer, from locally made jewelry and paintings to gift baskets and custom-made fire pits. Plus, the live auction featured some big ticket items like a fishing trip and beach house stay.
This year, the event benefited from a Rossie joining its board: 2014 graduate Erin Porter. “Before I joined the board this year, I had been a spectator and attended the events,” she says. “But Lanse’s friends have been instrumental in organizing this nonprofit organization to commemorate his legacy and provide scholarships for students with similar traits as Lanse. Lanse and I were in the same orientation group, so we were friends from the beginning, and I wanted to be involved.”
For Porter, part of the reason she gives back is to honor her friend. But the other part is that she wants to help Ross's newest generation of veterinarians. “Looking back, attending Ross was the best decision I ever made because it helped me pursue my dream -- but that dream comes with heavy financial difficulties,” she explains. “It’s important to stay connected to your island family and keep those relationships going when you come back to the US, and it’s also important to help new Rossies achieve their dream and get a little financial help.”
As for next year’s Fox Fest? “We are looking to expand it and make it even bigger for next year,” adds Porter. “Stay tuned for how we will do that.”