It is with great joy to announce Trails4Transplant’s 2020 ride plans are underway! A dedicated group of people along with their horses are again planning to raise awareness and funds for organ, eye, and tissue donation. Trails4Transplants (T4T) is celebrating its eighth annual trail ride, May 22 – May 30, 2020. The “2020 Vision 4 All” ride will start at Tamarack Horse Camp in the St. Croix State Forest and end at the Pine County Fairgrounds in Pine City, MN, where a silent auction and free will offering meal will take place. The T4T group has ridden over 2,100 miles and has raised over $250,000 since their mission began in 2013. They have ridden across numerous states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana, speaking to various 4-H and Scout clubs and at numerous high schools raising awareness about the need for organ, eye, and tissue donors while trying to encourage young and old alike to check the box and be a hero!
This year’s ride is dedicated in memory of Laura May Maloney. Laura was 8 years old and a third grader at Pine City Elementary when she passed on October 27th, 2013 due to an auto accident. When called the day after the accident by LifeSource, Laura’s parents, Paul and Erin, made the difficult decision to have Laura be a donor. Laura was able to donate her eyes, knee cartilage and valves from her heart. “The decision to have Laura be a donor in the midst of the chaos and grief of what had just happened has proven to be our saving grace and T4T has helped us realize that. Our Laura gave someone an amazing gift, the gift of sight! Laura is someone’s hero!” said Erin, Laura’s mom.
The average length of the daily ride is 16 miles with the longest being 20 miles for a total of 109 miles over the seven days. Riders may join or stop along any leg of the trip. The minimum suggested contribution to participate in the ride is $25.00 per rider per day or $50.00 per family. These funds help with the expenses and healing of organ, eye and tissue recipients. Riders are encouraged to solicit sponsorships in addition to the minimum mileage cost. The money raised benefits the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester and this year will also benefit Faith’s Lodge and Pine County 4-H. Faith’s Lodge is located in Danbury WI. It is a beautiful place where bereaved families can stay to find some hope and healing after a tragic loss of a child/sibling. Pine County 4-H was near and dear to Laura’s heart as she really enjoyed being a 4-her.
You do not need to be a horse person or own a horse to participate in the ride. Volunteers are needed to help transport vehicles, feed riders, set up and take down camp, direct traffic, help with silent auction, share personal stories of donation, or simply sponsor a rider. ATVs are welcome along some portions of the ride.
Currently more than 124,000 men, women, and children are awaiting transplants in the United States. Each year, approximately one-third of those people receive life-saving transplants and a hope for a renewed life. This is due to the generosity of individuals who at the time of personal grief think of others in need. Despite this generosity, the need continues to grow. Each day, 21 people die while waiting for a transplant. A new name is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes. “For us, our involvement with Trails4Transplants, is about healing from the tragic loss of our daughter while helping to improve the lives of others in her memory,” said Paul, Laura’s dad.
Registration and complete information about Trails4Transplants 2020 Vision4All ride is available on the organization’s website at trails4transplants.org or by contacting Paul Maloney at 320-630-0403 or Erin Maloney at 320-630-0402.