Saddle Up for St. Jude Children's Hospital event scheduled Sunday in Crookston
Equine enthusiasts are saddling up on Sunday, Sept. 27, to raise money for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital at an event in Crookston.
The 10th annual Saddle Up and Show You Care for St. Judes CHR will feature multiple activities, including an open horse show, silent auction and lunch at the Crookston arena.
Heather Arens, who lives near East Grand Forks, launched the event 10 years ago after St. Jude Children's Research Hospital asked her mother if she could host a horse show. Her mother declined but told the research hospital that her daughter may be interested.
Arens was, and, since that first year, the number of attendees has grown by about 10 times to about 125, Arens said.
“People look forward to it every year,” she said.
The past nine Saddle Up events have raised a total of $27,000, and Arens aims to break the $30,000 mark this year.
The event is run by volunteers, and all of the proceeds go to St. Jude CHR.
“I have a lot of wonderful volunteers who have been with me for years,” she said. "I'm very blessed to have the family and friends I do to help me with this.”
Besides the volunteers who work at the event, people donate items, some horse-related and some not, for the silent auction. This year, a handmade hope chest, restaurant gift certificates and horseback riding lessons are among the auction items. The silent auction begins at 10 a.m. and concludes about 4 p.m.
Another donor pays for the fee to use the Crookston arena, Arens said. Using the indoor arena eliminates the chances of the event being canceled because of adverse weather conditions.
“That way we can be inside and not worry about what’s going on outside," she said.
There is no charge to attend the event, which also features a raffle, bake sale and lunch, which is available for a freewill offering.
The horse show begins at 10 a.m. Sunday. Performance events, including showmanship, pleasure riding and reining will be held first, and gaming events will be held afterward. There are varying entrance fees, depending on the event. The show typically wraps up by 6 p.m.