Logan Pillows to Participate in “Reach for the Stars” Show at County Fair


Logan Pillows, a 4th grader at Hudson’s Bonner Elementary, is seated with his seeing-eye dog/ pet dog name Mia. Logan is one of the students participating in the Reach for the Stars show at the Angelina County Youth Fair at the Angelina County Fair

One of the best events you’ll see at the Angelina County Fair is called Reach for the Stars “Celebrating the Possibilities”. It will be a livestock show on Thursday, March 21 at 5 pm that will showcase the talents of special needs youth from across our county. Participants will be paired up with a 4-H or FFA member to exhibit livestock and learn that they can succeed in the show arena as well.

Logan is the 10-year-old son of James Hall and Stacy Pillows. He is legally blind and has been since birth. Logan has 4 inches of peripheral vision and can only see shapes and primary colors.

But don’t let that fool you, he is extremely smart and is in the gifted and talented program in 4th grade at Bonner Elementary in Hudson. He reads braille and loves gardening. At home Logan loves to garden, especially planting flowers and rose bushes. 

When asked what led them to participate in the show, Stacy said “Logan has never participated in Reach for the Stars program. He is super excited to meet the student that has volunteered their time and animal to share with him, and the wisdom and joy that comes from raising an animal.”

Karen Stafford is one of the volunteers leading this show. Stafford says, “I had started seeing this type of show in other counties around Texas, and I’ve seen some special needs kids showing at the major stock shows, and I just felt like it was time for us to offer something like this in our county and our community.”

“The support and enthusiasm have been overwhelmingly positive,” Stafford continues, “The response from the 4-H and FFA kids willing to donate their animals and be show buddies for the exhibitors is very heartwarming.  This year, in less than 24 hours, we had 37-40 youth fair exhibitors sign up to volunteer.  Our Angelina County kids want to help in a big way.”

Looking ahead, she states, “I hope these exhibitors will see that livestock showing really is achievable for them and maybe they will consider joining a 4-H or FFA group and becoming a part of the Angelina County Fair in the future.  Also, animals have calming and therapeutic effects, and I’ve seen what it can do for kids with different ranges of disabilities.  These livestock animals might be what a kid needs, but they just might not know it yet.”

Logan’s mom, Stacy stated, “Logan constantly wants to try new things. He does not let his disability hold him back, a true daredevil and has no fear and loves animals.”

Registration for the Reach for the Stars show is available online at AngelinaCountyFair.com. This is an opportunity for special needs children in grades 3 – 12. The event is free, but you must pre-register by March 15th at the website. Click on Exhibitors, then “Contest” and follow the link to the Special Needs Livestock Show.  

The public is invited to see the Reach for the Stars show at 5 pm on Thursday, March 21 in the main arena of the EXPO in Lufkin.

Cary Sims
Cary Sims is the County Extension Agent for agriculture and natural resources for Angelina County. His email address is cw-sims@tamu.edu Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.

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