The 2017 Trails4Transplants trail ride commenced May 20th in Edgeley, ND and concluded 320 miles later in Bird Island, MN. The purpose of the ride was to raise awareness for the need of organ, eye, and tissue donors. Secondly, T4T raises funds to help promote awareness, support donor families, and help those who have received the precious gift of life. This was the fifth leg of the planned 2000-mile trek over a six year span, and marked 1,703 miles of the trip completed.
Here are some of the achievements in 2017:
- Covered 2 states: North Dakota and Minnesota
- 100 riders participated covering a total of 9,600 miles
- Stops in 15 cities
- 17 speakers shared their personal stories on the impact of donation with city leaders and residents—mayors, newspapers, editors, civic organizations, community members, pastors, parishes, nursing homes, high school kids, and various onlookers.
- 400 high schools kids listened to the message of donation
- Hosted the first ever Donate Life Horse Show in Edgeley, ND
- Co-hosted the first ever Donate Life Rodeo with Wojo Rodeo Company, Greenbush, MN
- Media coverage throughout the ride included 26 newspapers with 16 front page stories, 2.6k Facebook followers, 2 radio stations, 2 TV news reports
- $65,000raised for the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, MN
- Supported the Donate Life Tree during the ND Hall of Trees – a Christmas tree display at the ND capitol that draws in thousands of visitors. This tree will honor organ, eye, and tissue donors as well as recognize transplant recipients who have been blessed to receive these life-saving gifts.
- Unveiled a new donor tribute wall at CHI Oakes Community Hospital, Oakes, ND.
- $1,500 donated to Tri-County Health Care to support their donor tribute garden to be unveiled during T4T’s 2018 ride
What T4T has achieved so far in 2013-2017:
- 1,703 miles total–297 miles yet to go!
- 78 days of riding
- 305 total riders from 12 different states- ND, SD, MN, KS, ID, WA, CO, FL, SC, LA, MT, IA
- 50 volunteers from 8 states- ND, MN, SD, MT, FL, CO, KS, LA
- 36,200 horseback miles logged
- 75 cities and towns
- 6K Facebook followers
- $200,000 raised to spread awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation, honor donors, and support organ recipients
The communities along the route rolled out the red carpet for the group, providing evening meals, staging areas, entertainment, and donations. A very special thank you to these towns along the 2017 route– ND cities: Edgeley, LaMoure, Oakes, Forman, Lidgerwood, Fairmount. MN cities: Wheaton, Graceville, Morris, Benson, Appleton, Montevideo, Granite Falls, Renville, Bird Island. Also, thank you to the cities of Warren and Thief River Falls and Wojo Rodeo Company for holding special events to promote Trails4Tranplants and the groups’ mission.
Plans are well underway for the 2018 ride. The ride will start in Wadena, MN on May 20th and end at the Gift of Life House in Rochester, MN on June 2nd. Individuals interested in participating in the upcoming rides can register or obtain detailed information by accessing the group’s website at trails4transplants.org. Follow them on Facebook.