It’s an Easter weekend tradition, the annual Pony Express Riders of Iowa continue clip-clopping across the state to Camp Sunnyside today.

Marlene Scarlett, secretary and board member for the Pony Express Riders, says there will be about 300 people on horseback trotting toward the Easter Seals camp near Ankeny, just north of Des Moines. “We have rides converging on the camp from every corner of the state,” Scarlett says. “I think there are ten or 11 organized rides and other people are welcome to take part on our parade ride that goes into camp.”

The riders are all scheduled to arrive on Saturday afternoon. They’ll be carrying donations to support Easter Seals’ efforts in Iowa, as much as $200,000 in contributions. “There’s money coming in that entire day and the totals as they increase are announced to the crowd,” Scarlett says. “People can come and watch the ride come in. There’ll be food and music and it’s a celebration day.”

The first ride was held in 1968 and since then has raised a total of more than $11 million for the charity. Organizers held a benefit dance last night and there is another tonight. “Our Victory Dance is Saturday night and that’s for everyone to attend, the doors open at 6.”

Located on 88 acres, Camp Sunnyside was designed, built and is staffed to meet the recreational needs of campers, both children and adults, with all types of disabilities. Learn more at:

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)