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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail ride welcomes riders

Thursday, September 13, 2012

(Photo)
Photo/Tammy Curtis Riders from the 2011 Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail Ride make their way out to the trail on their horses. [Order this photo]
If last year's inaugural Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail Ride was any indication organizer Adam Zeiger has started a memorable fall tradition. All the fundraising trail ride's proceeds go directly to St. Jude Children's research hospital.

The ride is open to everyone, and is by donation only. It will be held at the Zeiger Ranch on Sept. 22, with the ride beginning at 10 a.m at 1104 River Road outside of Hardy. Zeiger said there will be primitive camping Friday night through Sunday at noon, and everyone is welcome to come out and have a good time for a good cause.

There will be fun, food and games Friday and Saturday night after the ride. Zeiger said he has a few new surprises in store for participants this year, including a greased pig chase. Last year, many of the participants raved about Zeiger's gumbo and are looking forward to it at this year's event. Last years event raised over $2,500 for St. Jude with over 40 riders.

Saturday everyone will saddle up for the scenic ride along the banks of the beautiful Spring River. After the ride, a barbecue meal will be provided by Beach Club Barbecue. Bob and Sandy Gilliland also contributed to the 2011 ride. Downhome Country Kitchen will be providing the desert again this year. The meal is free to all riders. Zeiger said the public is also invited to the free cookout even if they don't ride. Contributions can be made to St. Jude whether a person rides or not.

Many children in the Sharp County area have benefitted from the services of the hospital over the years. St. Jude never turns away children, regardless of their ability to pay for treatment, at the Memphis-based hospital. Fundraising events are run by volunteers, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to support St. Jude.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital opened on Feb. 4, 1962, founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas. The hospital's mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

In 1962, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer, was 4 percent. Today, the survival rate for this once deadly disease is 94 percent, thanks to research and treatment protocols developed at St. Jude.

When Thomas opened the doors he was not just changing the lives of children who would walk through its doors--he was changing lives across the world.

St. Jude completed its $1 billion, five-year expansion in 2005, bolstering the hospital's efforts to find cures for catastrophic diseases of childhood. The growth more than doubled the size of the hospital's original campus. The expansion included the Children's GMP, LLC--the nation's only pediatric research center on-site facility for production of highly specialized treatments and vaccines--an expanded Department of Immunology and more.

Marsha Hausman, one of the group's organizers, said anyone interested in contributing to the fundraiser who may not be able to attend the event or ride may donate online at the following link or donate directly to St Jude. She said to receive credit for your donation to the Zeiger Ranch ride, donors must sponsor a rider. To do this go to the Web address and click on "Find Event", click on Arkansas, enter "Sharp" in Williford and it will take you to the page.

To reach Zeiger Ranch from Ash Flat or Highland, turn on FM 101 Road. Go straight as it turns to River Road, and look for event signs. Zeiger would like to see a record crowd for this event.



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