More than 30 horseback riders met at Wildwood Park in Appling on Saturday to help a 4-H member raise money for a cause.
Elizabeth Hare (from left), Christie Eberl, Melissa Powell and Victoria Paul ride their horses at Wildwood Park in Appling. The girls were participating in the Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail Ride, which was Elizabeth's 4-H community-service project. More than 30 riders met for the event.
Photo by Quandra Collins
The event, Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail Ride, was a community-service project organized by Elizabeth Hare to help benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
"I didn't know anybody personally," said the 14-year-old Greenbrier High School freshman about why she chose St. Jude. "You see it on TV all the time. You see young kids, not even a year old, with diseases that are life-threatening. It's terrible to have diseases to start life off like that."
After setting an original goal of $3,000, Elizabeth raised more than $3,700 to benefit St. Jude with the help of corporate sponsors, trail riders, family and friends.
"It feels great," she said with a smile. "I hope other people will stop and think and say 'I can make a difference.'"
Now that Elizabeth has completed her community service project, Shirley Williamson said, she will receive a "three award," which is a special certificate from the University of Georgia.
"This will make her eligible for scholarships," said the Columbia County 4-H agent. "By doing a project like this, it instills community spirit. It also makes better community leaders."
Since the age of five, Elizabeth has been riding horses, she said, which is one of the reasons why she decided to coordinate the event. Another reason, she said, was because the hospital relies on public donations through Saddle Up events that are held throughout the nation each year.
In 1962, St. Jude Children's Hospital opened its doors to help treat children who suffer from fateful diseases. The facility, which was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, is a nonsectarian, nondiscriminatory hospital, which provides medical treatment to more than 19,000 people. The hospital covers all costs of treatment beyond those reimbursed by insurance.
In addition to the trail ride, several participants received gift certificates from restaurants, horse feed and a $50 saving bond as door and raffle prizes.
Melissa Powell, 17, said she's glad she participated in the trail ride.
"It's taught me that helping others can make you feel good," she said.
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