By: Pam Lore, Chickasaw County Trail Riders, Northeast Iowa
The Pony Express Riders of Iowa hold fundraisers in their Iowa counties and deliver the donations to Camp Sunnyside on Easter weekend each year. The amount raised at this year’s ride on March 31 topped $245,000. The group has raised more than $10 million in its 51-year history to support Easter Seals Iowa and Camp Sunnyside.
I cannot remember a time when a member of my family has not been involved with the Pony Express Riders of Iowa. As a young lady, I rode miles to raise money. Then I quit riding for several years. My children grew up and expressed an interest in joining the cause, so once again we are riding our miles and getting donations for Camp Sunnyside.
Why do we do it? First and foremost, we have a very dear friend who actually went to Camp Sunnyside. We ride in her honor. She has the attitude she can do whatever she wants, and I believe she learned that at Camp Sunnyside. Second, I ride because it gives me great pride to be part of this organization. When I was pregnant with my second child, I remember wondering, “What would I do if I had a child with a disability?” I am so glad there is a Camp Sunnyside and Easter Seals Iowa. It is the answer to that question. I am now on the Pony Express Riders of Iowa Board of Directors and get to know more about Camp Sunnyside. It continually amazes me how incredible the organization is, and how incredible the campers are.
As you can see by the picture, it is not always 70 degrees and sunny when we ride. It was 38 degrees when this picture was taken! We ride because we care about the mission and it’s important to show our support.
I also take a very personal pride in my family’s participation. I have several brothers, my children, my nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and even great-great nieces and nephews who participate in Ride Day and all year long raise money to support Easter Seals Iowa. I am proud of the way this legacy of support has been handed down through my family and look forward to many more successful years of supporting Easter Seals Iowa and Camp Sunnyside.