Is there anything better than a moonlight ride, listening to the steady clop of hooves and jingle-jangle of bits and bridles, all accompanied by the night song of crickets, cicadas and owls, and washed soft silver by the light of a full moon?
How about a moonlight ride that not only gives you all of that, but also gives you the satisfaction of helping others? The Bedford County Cancer Foundation is holding its second annual Moonlight Trail Ride on Garrett Winnette's property at 161 West Rd. in Wartrace Saturday, and the proceeds benefit members of the community with cancer.
"It was a good turnout last year," said Connie May, a member of the foundation board. "We have a bonfire and you can roast marshmallows."
Last year, more than 150 riders showed up and the foundation raised thousands of dollars, from both the cost of the ride ($15, which includes the ride, supper and entertainment) and the auction. Tickets are available at First Community Bank of Bedford County, and non-riders are more than welcome to come and should bring a lawn chair.
"We're really excited about it. We'll be having the live auction again. Last year, it was going to be a silent auction," said foundation president Joni Jenné. "We had the tables all set up and everything, but once we got there, we decided to try a live auction. It was a lot of fun and got people more involved."
Getting people more involved is what the foundation is all about. Unlike many other cancer-oriented nonprofits - all worthy causes - the Bedford County Cancer Foundation dedicates itself to helping individual patients, with everything from rent to dietary supplements.
"Everything we raise stays right here in Bedford County," she said.
The ride has been moved up a month this year, hoping for a warmer night than last year's October ride. "The weather is supposed to be beautiful," said Jenné.
Trailers need to be on site by 6 p.m. and the ride, with Ray Pimental as trail master, begins at 6:30 p.m. "We just adore Ray," said Jenné.
Instead of a live band, Jenné again plans to get the people more involved. "We'll be doing karaoke," she said.
For more information about the Bedford Cancer Foundation, visit www.bedfordcancerfoudation.com. A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, the foundation provides financial assistance to area cancer patients and their families. All donations are fully tax-deductible. One goal of the foundation is "to assist qualified patients while undergoing treatment when other financial sources of assistance have been denied or exhausted. Qualification for financial assistance is based on income eligibility."