SARANAC - Daphne Wright and her family want to bring smiles to the faces of sick children.
That's why the Wright family will host a fundraiser at their Nashville Road farm this Sunday, May 16, to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The event, called "Saddle Up for St. Jude," will consist of a trail ride and other activities, all to help children with life-threatening diseases and conditions.
Wright said she got the idea to host the event from the Clinton County 4-H program, of which her family are members. The program encourages participants to be "community conscious" and help initiatives like St. Jude.
"As a parent, one of my biggest fears has always been something happening to one of my children, like them getting sick," she said.
When she learned about Saddle Up for St. Jude, Wright said she thought it would be a great way to help those less fortunate.
"I've been blessed. All my children are healthy, so I'm thankful," said Wright. "That's why I wanted to do this, to give back."
What Wright likes best about the event is that it encourages donations that she sends directly to St. Jude.
"When you sign up to host [Saddle Up for St. Jude], you receive an envelope, get sponsors and donations for the ride, turn in the money and every penny goes right to St. Jude," explained Wright. "This money doesn't get watered down anywhere. It goes directly to the source."
That's important to Wright because she's exceeded the amount of sponsorship she had planned on for the event, she said.
"We've had a wonderful response," said Wright. "The community as a whole has just turned out in full force. Our original goal was to raise $1,000, but now, we're looking at much closer to $10,000."
"I get all choked up when I start to think about it," she added.
What excites Wright about raising money for St. Jude is it's for an organization that's made great strides in cancer research.
"They took cancers and childhood illnesses that had a survival rate of 2 percent and have raised it to 80-90 percent," said Wright. "That's pretty amazing."
The free admission event at 3-D Farm will begin this Sunday at 12 p.m., with a blessing of the horses by Jamie Grubb. An 8-mile ride will be led by Wright down the abandoned railroad tracks, circling around the Chazy Lake Road. A miniature horse and pony parade will be held at 2 p.m. and a magic show featuring Eric Maynard will be held at 3 p.m. Fiddler Joe Gero will also provide musical entertainment.
The event will also consist of food, 50-50 raffles, prize basket drawings, and a flea market.
Those interested in more information or directions to the farm, located at 190 Nashville Road, may contact Wright at 293-7624. Flea market space is still available and free, added Wright.
The event will be held rain or shine.