Pony Express Riders Saddling Up For Good Friday Ride
Travelers through Palo Alto County will encounter the familiar sight of horses and riders today and on Good Friday as a group of area residents canvass the county in a fundraising effort for the disabled. The annual Pony Express Ride for Crippled Children will be conducted throughout the state on Good Friday, Mar. 21. In Emmetsburg, the event gets underway today, Thursday, Mar. 20.
Riders will be located in front of Fareway, Food Pride, and Pizza Ranch, and will be soliciting donations from other Emmetsburg businesses and the public, as well.
According to Sheree Huberty, a volunteer with the Pony Express, riders will seek donations from the public throughout the county on Friday, canvassing the towns of Ayrshire, Ruthven, Graettinger, Curlew, Cylinder, West Bend, Emmetsburg, and Mallard.
“Vinnie Lammers’ group will be collecting the donations in each of the towns,” explained Huberty. “My group will be leaving from Mallard on Friday and heading down to Jefferson. On Saturday, we’ll arrive at Camp Sunnyside in Des Moines.”
The Pony Express Ride for Crippled Children first started as an idea of Spencer restauranteur A.M. “Stub” Johnson in 1967. Johnson conceived the ride as a means of raising funds for the Iowa Easter Seals Society’s Camp Sunnyside. Camp Sunnyside provides recreational opportunities for disabled children and adults. The camp also provides a place to gain new recreational skills for disabled children and adults alike.
Through Easter Seals, wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment are made available to families who cannot afford them. In addition, Respite Care, scholarships to students with disabilities, training, group support and other services are made available by the Easter Seals Society, with much of that funding coming through monies raised through the annual Pony Express rides.
With the motto “We Ride So Crippled Children May Walk,” the Pony Express ride has grown each year.