The appreciation of knowing that help is on the way was part of the inspiration to continue to stage the ride. It has become STARS’ longest running charity event, and this year is reaching a milestone.
Jacqui Goddard, one of the organizers, says the secret to the longevity of the ride is dedication and commitment. The cause also motivates support.
“It’s not hard to sell STARS,” she said, adding staff from STARS also comes out in support of the event.
The STARS Air Ambulance will make a special appearance at the ride come August 9 at the TL Bar Ranch. These type of visits are reserved for special occasions.
“We had the helicopter come for the first time in the 11th year because we could not get it on the 10th year to commemorate the ride. It came again when we raised $250,000,” said Goddard. This is when the Rumsey Ride was eligible to have its label affixed to the chopper.
This year they are going to have special anniversary T-shirts made up, which will be given to participants that raise more than $350
So far, the ride has raised $401,211 to keep the helicopter in the air, and the committee of the Rumsey Ag. Society that organizes the ride envisions a time when they will break the half million-dollar mark.
“We average about $20,000 each event. Last year we raised $29,000, so you never know,” said Goddard.
The ride goes bright and early on Sunday, August 9, although campers can roll in Saturday evening to get ready for the Sunday morning ride. There is a ride for all different abilities; from the novice rider, right up to a challenging course only for the experienced rider and horse.
Riders set out at 10 to 10:30 a.m. after breakfast. Participants are asked to bring a lunch, and to stock up on plenty of water to drink on the ride.
All the excitement the ride has been known for is back. Riders can participate in a poker rally. There is also a quilt raffle, donated by the Richmonds, and all kinds of STARS souvenirs available for sale on site. The traditional barbecue beef dinner with homemade pie follows the ride, and the very popular silent auction is also back for 2009. There is so much to do; one doesn’t need to ride to participate in the event.
For more information on the ride or to donate a silent auction, contact Goddard at 403-368-2132 or Deanie Lynch at 403-442-2399.