Equestrians and horse lovers are invited to attend the seventh annual New Year's Saddle Up for St. Jude's Sunday, Jan. 13, at Prairie Pines Preserve and Endless Trails Ranch in North Fort Myers. The event benefits St. Jude's Children's Cancer Research Hospital.
When St. Jude's approached Endless Trails Ranch owner Lark Campisano about holding the benefit, she was happy to help.
"The reason I decided to do it (the fund-raiser) was that my daughter had leukemia when she was 10 years old," Campisano said. "She is fine now. We had insurance, but St. Jude treats any child regardless of their insurance status.
Rodney Scruggs will be trail boss for non-gaited horses at Saddle Up for St. Jude’s benefit to be held Jan. 13.
"Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and we will depart for a guided trail ride through the 2,865-acre preserve at 10 a.m.," Campisano said. "There are over 20 miles of trails in Prairie Pines so it will last 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The trail boss for the gaited horses will be Rodney Scruggs while the trail boss for the non-gaited horses will be Teggy Smith.
"When we return, a barbecue lunch will be served and there will be music performed by Bedman Creek Bluegrass Band from Alva," Campisano said. The lunch menu includes appetizer trays, roasted pork, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob and a variety of desserts and beverages.
Horse trainer Charlie Clonch will demonstrate horse training techniques in the round pen after the trail ride.
If You Go
What: Saddle Up for St. Jude's benefit
When: Jan. 13; registration at 8:30; ride at 10 a.m.
Where: Prairie Pines Reserve and Endless Trails Ranch, North Fort Myers
RSVP, information or directions: 731-3265
A donation of $35 is requested for adults and $20 for those under 18, and includes the trail ride, lunch and a ticket for the many giveaways. Those who wish to come just for lunch, enjoy the walking trails and to mingle with the horses and riders are requested to donate $5.
"One hundred percent of the donations go to St. Jude's," Campisano said.
Endless Trails is located at 19201 Matt Road in North Fort Myers. Please call Lark at 731-3265 to RSVP or if you want more information or directions to the ranch.