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Non-Profit Organization supporting Children's Charities within the community


Monthly meetings held 1st Monday's of the month (except holidays) at Elks Lodge - 7 pm

Ben Johnson Days


The Annual Ben Johnson Days hosted by the Gold field Ghost Riders. The event encompasses something for everyone - Fun Gymkhana, Trailer Raffle, SXS Ride  & Poker Ride. Proceeds benefit children's charities. This event not only promises fun and excitement, it also gives us the opportunity to help those who cannot help themselves.


Every November

AJ Rodeo Grounds, 1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd - Tomahawk & Lost Dutchman Bl. and various other locations.


As Ben Johnson said, "Together we CAN make a difference!" see story below

Ben Johnson was an honest-to-goodness Oklahoma cowboy, World Champion Roper, rancher, and horse-wrangler who caught the eye of director John Ford who hired him to do stunt work and as riding-double for Henry Fonda in the movie, "Fort Apache". Ben had many films to his credit, including films starring John Wayne that high-lighted his riding abilities, and eventually starring or co-starred in such films such as "Mighty Joe Young , "Wagon Master, "Shane", "The Getaway", "Breakheart Pass", as well as television episodes like, "Have Gun Will Travel. This lead to his Academy Award for his role in "The Last Picture Show".


As an humanitarian, Ben organized many celebrity rodeos that benefited children's organizations, an area that was very dear to his heart. He organized and competed in many of his own charity rodeos and frequently won, right to the end of his life (April 8, 1996).


Ben took up residence in Mesa, Arizona and soon adopted Sunshine Acres Children's Home as one of his charities. He spent many hours with the children teaching them to rope.

Charlotte Holmes, a long time resident of Apache Junction and founding member of the Goldfield Ghost Riders, contacted Ben Johnson about having an equestrian charity poker ride at the Goldfield Ghost Town. Before long, a whole passel of friends wanted to give Ben a helping hand. In November of 1994, Ben and about 20 of his old acting friends, including Harry Carey, Jr., rode out of the Goldfield Ghost Town. In all, there were 349 riders giving Ben a helping hand. The proceeds helped the AJ Youth Center and the Sunshine Acres Children's Home.


On April 19, 1997, Sunshine Acres Children's Home dedicated their newest facility, the Ben Johnson Memorial Barn, in his honor. The Goldfield Ghost Riders officially formed in 1996 with a nonprofit classification and continues to raise money for children's charities in the spirit of Ben Johnson.

P.O. Box 5548 - Apache Junction, AZ 85278

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