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St. Jude Trail Ride set for Saturday

Sarah Hawley shawley@civitasmedia.com

September 18, 2013

RUTLAND — The 18th annual St. Jude Trail Ride at the Dill Farm will be held on Saturday, with the ride beginning at noon.


Michael and Isabel Dill, along with their daughter Paige, and many family members, friends and neighbors organize the event year. The ride is held on the Dill’s farm located at 34843 Beech Grove Road just outside of Rutland.


The ride travels for 10 miles through scenic Rutland Township. Halfway through the ride organizers provide an intermission and refreshments. There is no charge to participate in the 10-mile ride though donations to St. Jude are welcome.


All the proceeds from the event go to benefit St. Jude Research Hospital.


Last year, $23,129.76 was raised for St. Jude with 353 riders registered.


This was an increase of more than 100 from 2011, when 222 riders took part, with 286 people either riding or making donations.


To date, the annual trail ride has collected $168,871.01 for St. Jude.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization.


After the trail ride, organizers offer a free hog roast and bean dinner as well as serve hot dogs. Hogs for the event were purchased at the Meigs County Fair and donated by Farmers Bank and Home National Bank.


Also following the ride, winners of prize drawings are announced. Those who wish to buy prize tickets should do so before the ride. Prizes up for grabs include a saddle, a saddle stands and much more. There is also a 50/50 drawing.


When the Dills decided to start the trail ride 18 years ago, that first ride raised a little over $2,000 and has continued to steadily grow without any official help from any formal group or sponsor.


The Dill’s neighbors also open up their property to allow the trail ride to criss-cross the hillsides of Rutland Township. The event takes a lot of planning and hard work but Isabel says it’s worth it, adding that her husband always says if it helps just one kid that’s all that matters.


Participants can sign in beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with camping available for the weekend.


New this year will be a DJ on Friday evening sponsored by the Ohio Horse Council Meigs Chapter.


Once again, ribbons and prizes will be presented to the top three money collectors for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which has a mission to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and from around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.


Donations are accepted any one that would like to donate money, door prizes, drinks, or snacks. For more information contact Michael or Isabel Dill at (740) 742-2849, or my mail at 34843 Twp.Rd.447 Rutland,Ohio 45775, or email at isabeldill@hotmail.com.


For more information on Saddle Up for St. Jude, visit mysaddleupforstjude.org or stjude.org.