RUTLAND — The 2019 St. Jude Trail Ride at the Dill Farm in Rutland raised more than $18,000 for the charity.
Nearly 130 riders and more than 50 volunteers came out to the ride on Sept. 21 in Rutland Twp. The total money raise for 2019 is $18,125, which brings the total for the last 24 years to $330,803.71, according to event organizer Isabel Dill.
The money collectors who brought in the most donations were Debbie Lewis from Mason, West Virginia, Shayla Hysell of Rutland, and Pat Vaughan of Pomeroy.
The St. Jude Trail Ride started on the Dill Farm 24 years ago with a small riding club where Isabel was a member. In the years following, many more people came back to spend the weekend riding their horses through the woods.
“St. Jude asked us if we would be interested in doing it and it was such a great cause that we couldn’t say no,” Dill said. “So we kept doing it after that because we realized it was helping so many kids and so many families.”
At the event, there were 90 door prizes and several raffles, all donated by riders and local businesses. After the trail ride, the Dill family and other volunteers cooked two hogs that were purchased and donated by Famers Bank and Home National Bank at the Meigs County Fair.
“We couldn’t do it ourselves,” Dill said. “It’s all done by the riders, the local businesses around us, and our family.”
The trail is 10 miles long and crosses through 16 different owners’ properties, according to Dill.
For the 2019 event, the Dill family, along with Ed and Kenny Turley, made a monument for the St. Jude Trail Ride. The materials for the monument were donated by Baum Lumber, Forest Run Ready Mix and Shain Custom Signs.
Isabel and her husband Mike are hoping to add a large raffle item for next year as the 25th annual St. Jude Trail Ride.
Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.