The 311 mile Trails4Transplants organ, tissue and eye donor awareness and fundraising horse ride concluded June 13th at St Anthony, ND. The 14 day trek started at Warren, MN., with overnight stops in North Dakota at Manvel, Emerado, Hatton, Finley, Cooperstown, Carrington, Bowdon, Hurdsfield, Tuttle, Wing, Sterling, and Mandan.
Over 100 individuals participated in the ride with 6,800 total miles ridden. Six riders made the entire trip, and a number of others rode the majority of the segments. Local participation was strong for each segment. No major accidents or injuries were sustained.
Awareness of the need for organ, tissue, and eye donations was raised, and additional donors registered. Countless individuals stopped along the trail or during campfires at night to share their inspiring stories of receiving or giving the precious gift of life. Fundraising was also a successful with over $40,000 raised, which will be directed to the Gift of Life House in Rochester, MN., where it will be used to offset costs of housing for organ recipients in need of financial support.
Co-chairs Roger Hille and Ashley Peterson would like to thank all involved that contributed to the amazing success of the ride: the riders; those providing support and meals; the sponsors and contributors; and the media outlets (both TV and Newspapers).
“A special thanks and recognition is due the communities across North Dakota that welcomed us and showed hospitality above and beyond our expectations, providing meals, staging areas and facilities”, said Roger Hille. “Those communities made our stops enjoyable by welcoming us and giving us access to their campgrounds and facilities.”
Ashley is already planning for next year’s ride. “As long as the ride raises awareness and has community support, we will continue our efforts.”