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Riders hit the trail to benefit St. Jude

McDuffie County residents have had a record-setting effort in charitable events like the Relay for Life and blood drives in the past.

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The riders leave for Saturday's trail ride just off Ridge Road.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
Last Saturday, Joey Tuten and more than 100 trail riders added St. Jude's Children's Hospital's "Saddle Up" to that list.

"We were extremely satisfied with the turn-out," Mr. Tuten said.

The hospital, which is located in Memphis, is the world's biggest pediatric cancer research center in regards to patients enrolled and successfully treated. The hospital gives services not covered by a patient's insurance free of charge and offers treatment to patients with no insurance at no charge.

In order to be admitted to St. Jude's, a patient must be 18 years old or younger, have a disease currently under study by the hospital, and be eligible for a current research protocol.

St. Jude's finds organizers for this program by searching for those already involved in equestrian trail riding. The hospital had been approaching Mr. Tuten for several years. This year, John Richards, of Richards Trailer Sales, offered to help Mr. Tuten organize the event, and the two men agreed to bring "Saddle Up" to McDuffie County.

The 10-mile ride, which took place near Mr. Tuten's home on Ridge Road in north McDuffie County, raised around $7,000 for the children's hospital.

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Lisa Manning atop Jade is reflected in the sunglasses of Colton "Bubba" Bonner, 5.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
"That was real good for a one-day event," Mr. Tuten said.

These funds came from two sources: an entry fee of $20 per rider and donations from local businesses and organizations.

Mr. Tuten wished to thank the long list of sponsors for the event, which includes Richards Trailer Sales, Barlow & Barlow, West Star Construction, Danny Bourne Construction, Jeff McNair Construction, Bill Beazley Homes, Brown Timber, Design Construction, John Shehan Builders, J.D. Ollerich Homebuilders, R.L. Hayes Construction, C&R Homebuilders, Collier Homes, Bartley Homes, Jeb Boggus Builders, Dirt Works, Bill Easter Builders, G.L.S. Builders, Ronnie Powell Construction, Holmes Construction, Nordahl Homes, Grizzly Construction, Southeastern Family Homes, Windmill Plantation, Vivian Sullivan, Herbert Homes, Patterson Builders, H.E. and Miskelly Construction, Pine Top Farms, WTHO, White Columns Inn, Ryan's, Lisa Manning, Tony Toole, Boots, Bridles, and Britches, Budweiser, Gurley's/IGA of Warrenton, Thomson Country Club, Dana Allen, Interact Club of WWCHS, Wester Vet Clinic, Hadco Vet Company, Tommy Rennison Homebuilders, Coca-Cola, Wilkes County Farm Bureau, Macaljon-SCL, Luckey's Sign Company, Trickey's BBQ, Hentz Forest Products, Grovetown Farm and Garden Center, Old Frontier Horse Emporium, McDuffie Feed and Seed, Thompson Citgo, Affordable Auto, Curtis Funeral Home, Cut & Style, Joe Shurley Repair, Jimmy L. Stewart and Friends Trail Ride, Butter Supply Company, Wheeler's Hardware, and Smith Farm Supply.


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Ride organizers Joey Tuten (left) and John Richards address the participants.
Photo by Jason B. Smith

trail_ride5.jpg

Mr. Tuten (far right) leads the other riders down his driveway at the start of the ride.
Photo by Jason B. Smith

trail_ride2.jpg

Lisa Gill of Norwood tries to pull her horse, Gypsy Rose, out of a trailer.
Photo by Jason B. Smith

trail_ride1.jpg

Harry and Denise Stiles' horse, Baby, peers around a horse trailer.
Photo by Jason B. Smith



Web posted on Thursday, June 2, 2005











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