RUTLAND — Approaching the $300,000 mark, the St. Jude Trail Ride at the Dill Farm will return for its 24th year on Saturday, Sept. 21.
The annual event hosted by Mike and Isabel Dill, along with the help of many family members and friends, raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In 2018, more than 158 people took part in the annual event, raising $17,091 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Last year’s total brings the overall total for the first 23 years to more than $287,000, all of which has been donated to St. Jude.
Isabel and Mike Dill, along with other friends and family, have organized the annual event which has grown over the years from a few riders raising less than $100 in the first year to a multi-day event which now includes camping and other festivities.
Camping is available at the ride site and Friday evening has traditionally included music with a DJ sponsored by the Ohio Horse Council.
Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the ride will leave at noon on Saturday, Sept. 21, taking participants along a 10-mile trail through the wooded hills of the area. Everyone is welcome to “saddle up” and take part in the ride with whatever donation they want to make as their registration fee, with all proceeds going to St. Jude.
When the riders return there will be a hog roast, as well as hot dogs and beans available, the drawing of raffles and door prizes. Riders have the chance to purchase tickets for the raffles and sign up for the door prizes before heading out for the ride. The hogs were purchased at the Meigs County Fair Livestock Sale by Farmers Bank and Home National Bank and donated for the event.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three fundraisers at the event. The top 3 money collectors in 2018 were Debbie Lewis of Mason, W.Va., Jerry Smathers of Athens, Ohio, and Pat Vaughan of Pomeroy, Ohio.
On Sunday those who have stayed overnight or want to come back for the day ride the trail backwards.
The Dill Farm is located at 34015 Beech Grove Road, Rutland. Isabel can be reached by calling 740-742-2849 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.