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Greg Johnson writes...

During the auction at the AFA convention in Reno an amazing event occurred. Myron Mclane donated one of his aprons. This was not just an apron that hung on the wall in his booth at the Market Place. This apron was special with great influence.

Years ago Billy Crothers came from the UK to compete in the annual AFA competition. He qualified for the NACC shoeing, but needed an apron. Myron loaned him one of his aprons. Billy went on to win the live shoeing. He gave the apron back to Myron and Myron took the apron home, but never wore or sold it. He brought that same apron back for Billy to wear. You guessed it, he won again. A pattern was beginning to form here. Billy won 5 NACC championships over the years and all wearing that apron provided by Myron Mclane.

Billy has been out of competition for some years due to his wife Lucy’s diagnosis of breast cancer. Lucy eventually succumbed to the cancer and passed away about 3 years ago. Myron’s wife Pat was diagnosed with the same cancer in 1986. She courageously fought a great fight and died in 2013.

Billy and Myron have been friends for too many years to count. The commonality of the struggles their wives went through even strengthened the bond of friendship.

Earlier this year Myron decided to make some Pink aprons in memory of Pat and Lucy.

“I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with the pink aprons. I sent 3 of them to Billy at Handmade Shoes Ltd in England. He said we would talk about it when we met in Reno. At a roundtable discussion with family and friends we discussed the possibilities. That is when we decided to donate the “Billy” apron to the AFA auction and Billy would wear the pink apron in the competition”.

The apron that Myron donated to the auction netted $5200. The proceeds were earmarked for the AFA Team. But our story doesn’t end here.

Billy, Myron, and others plan to wear the pink aprons throughout the coming year in memory of their loving wives and to create awareness of this terrible disease among farriers and all the clients they serve. The goal is to get donations during the year and make a large donation to Breast Cancer Research at next year’s American Farrier’s Association convention in Tulsa.

Myron’s daughter Amy has set up a web site for the PINK APRON CHARITY fund so we can all donate to the Breast Cancer cause.

The original pink apron Billy wore during the live shoeing in Reno will be signed by farriers of Billy’s choosing. It will then be donated to the AFA auction in Tulsa where the proceeds will be donated to the American Farrier’s Team.

Billy qualified for the live shoeing this year, but did not have the success he had in the past. But that didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for the cause. To start this year off Myron and Billy asked everyone in attendance at the auction and awards ceremony to donate what they could. Through the generosity of those in attendance $4097 was raised

Where else can you find this kindness and compassion? I have been an AFA member since 1978. It is this type of love shown by my fellow members that make me proud to be part of something bigger than just shoeing horses.