Getting bucked off a horse and being shown by his father how to get back on and try again was Brad Hopkins’ first memory of “The Try” in action. “The Try” is that special characteristic which contributes to success in life—along with perseverance, hard work, and loyalty. It’s that quality within oneself that allows a person to overcome obstacles with courage and tenacity.
The Mick & Susie McMurry Cowboy Code Try Award honors a person or people in our community who have lived the Cowboy Code to its fullest. They have persevered in the face of challenges. The recipient of this year’s Mick & Susie McMurry Cowboy Code Try Award is Brad Hopkins, Executive Director of the Wyoming Rescue Mission.
Brad was “bucked off the horse” metaphorically with an early failed career move that left him and his wife homeless. Shaped by this early experience, Brad developed a heart of compassion for the homeless and needy. Throughout his life, Brad has carried “The Try” with him in his work changing lives and empowering the poor and the marginalized to capture the spirit of “The Try.”
Brad embodies the unique spirit of “The Try” in his “audacity to dream and collaborate with a team.” Brad possesses a relentlessness to not give up, but rather, to see a big picture dream and find a way to accomplish it.
As the Executive Director of the Wyoming Rescue Mission, Brad led a capital campaign that tripled the space to allow adequate housing for the homeless. At the Mission, lives are transformed through client-centered individual plans toward stability and self-sufficiency. Under Brad’s leadership, the Wyoming Rescue Mission has opened two thrift stores, which provide revenue and job placement opportunities for guests at the Mission. The Mission serves 2,500 men, women and children a year.
“The biggest tragedy is a bunch of ‘tries’ up on the shelf. Somebody had an idea, a dream, a vision, but then there was this automatic negative thinking that just left that dream up on the shelf,” Brad says. “When you’ve got ‘the Try’ in you, you never quit.”
Brad was born in Dallas, Texas and was the oldest of four siblings. A pastor by trade, Brad has worked with the homeless since 1999 at the Denver Rescue Mission. He has been married to his wife, Chrissy, for 29 years.
The Mick & Susie McMurry Cowboy Code Try Award, which is a bronze sculpture by world renowned local artist Chris Navarro, will be presented to Brad at the 24th Annual Awards & Recognition Breakfast. The breakfast on September 14 honors Brad and Jan Cundy for their tremendous impact on the community and features a keynote address by Willie Robertson–hunting enthusiast, CEO, and former star of Duck Dynasty.