An Easter weekend tradition is underway today as the annual Pony Express Ride gallops into action to benefit Camp Sunnyside in Ankeny. Carole Bailey, spokeswoman for the Pony Express Riders, says between 200 and 300 riders on horseback will be trotting into central Iowa from all over the state.
Several of the rides start at the Minnesota border and meet at the John Deere Works in Ankeny and then they all ride in “parade style” to the camp, bringing the donations they’ve worked all year to raise. Bailey says the riders have brought in an enormous sum of money for the camp over the years.
This is the 44th annual ride and over the last 43 years, they’ve raised more than $8.7 million to help support the Easter Seals camp. Last year’s ride netted 250-thousand dollars. She says the Pony Express’ goal is to raise money so children and adults with disabilities can attend the camp. Bailey said the riders are a brave bunch, no matter what the weather is doing.
She notes they’ve made the ride in 80-degrees under sunny skies and in 20-degrees in the snow. The annual victory party and dance will be held tonight at the Lake Robbins Ballrooom near Woodward. For more information, visit “www.ponyexpressridersofiowa.org” or “www.ia.easterseals.com“.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City