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Join Trail Ride participants Saturday for an American Cancer Society fundraiser at KC Ranch in Double Springs.
Courtesy photo
Join Trail Ride participants Saturday for an American Cancer Society fundraiser at KC Ranch in Double Springs.

Trail riders to raise money for cancer society at KC Ranch

By Andrea Brunty
abrunty@decaturdaily.com · 340-2448

Whether you ride for you, a loved one, a survivor or a friend, Cowboy Up for a Cure for the American Cancer Society on Saturday.

Wildlife, fall foliage, caves and bluffs await participants in Family Security Credit Union’s third annual Trail Ride at KC Ranch & Stables of Alabama in Double Springs.

The $20 fee includes a three- to four-hour guided ride, lunch, T-shirt and a performance by Natchez Trace, a Decatur-based band who play country and rock ’n’ roll. For $10, nonriders can eat lunch and listen to the band. The event also includes a silent auction and door prizes.

“It’s pretty much an all-day event,” said Debra McCaghren, who helped start the event with Vicki Barber at FSCU’s main branch in Decatur.

“People who have their own horses can come and ride,” she said. “And you can ride on your own or ride with one of the trail bosses.”

McCaghren said she enjoys riding because it is relaxing, and KC’s Ranch offers a variety of trails.

Two-time participant Gary Cline of Russellville agreed.

“There are creeks that you walk through and some big bluffs ... It’s some of the prettiest riding you’ll see in Alabama,” Cline said.

A good cause

McCaghren said a lot of people from Decatur attend the ride, especially because the event benefits Morgan County through Relay for Life.

“Everything that we raise goes to the American Cancer Society,” she said.

FSCU helps sponsor the ride, along with many community sponsors, and its branch employees assist as volunteers. The ride raised about $10,000 last year, and McCaghren said the goal is $15,000 this year. FSCU raised more than $32,000 for ACS in 2006.

Many people who participate in the ride do so because they want to make a difference, said volunteer Dawn Wright, who works at the credit union.

“So many families are affected by cancer, and it’s just something that affects a lot of lives,” she said. “It’s such a worthy cause.”

The ride is special to Cline because his mother is a cancer survivor. The horseback riders who attend are like a second family to him.

“It’s a real close-knit family. You don’t hardly ever meet a stranger,” he said. “Everybody always does what they can to help.”

The cause is also close to McCaghren and her husband, who have lost family members to cancer.

Throughout the day, participants sometimes share reasons why the event is important to them, she said.

On last year’s ride, McCaghren began talking to a man who was riding with his grandchildren. She soon learned he lost his wife to cancer and his daughter had also been diagnosed with the disease.

“In the time I was talking with him — and he had already paid (the ride fee) — he reached in his pocket and handed me an additional donation,” she said.

“It makes you want to do it again and again, because the people are so special,” she said.

Nonriders

Even if you don’t ride horses, like Wright, the entertainment and lunch provide a fun-filled day.

“It’s just a really good day trip ... there’s something for everybody,” Wright said. “My whole family goes. We just really go out and enjoy the day.”

Last year, 200 people attended, and McCaghren expects 250 people this year.

“Usually once somebody comes, they always come back,” Cline said.

“You’ve got to experience it to know; words can’t describe it,” he said. “The camaraderie of horse people is unreal.

“I don’t reckon I’ve seen anybody go away from there not happy.

Want more?

For more information about the Trail Ride, call 340-2000 and ask for Debra McCaghren. Visit www.kcranchalabama.com or call (205) 489-5474 for more information about the ranch.

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