Best Ever Pads is a proud supporter of Saddle Up for St. Jude, a volunteer based program that helps raise funds to end childhood cancer.
Julie Graves, a Saddle Up for St. Jude coordinator, became involved with the program through her personal experiences.
“I have always been passionate about helping kids and their families that are affected by cancer. I got involved with the program when our previous trainer introduced me to the event,” Julie said. “Seeing as the father of my boys has cancer, and a couple of students in my kids grade school were St Jude patients, it because even easier to help any way I could.”
“The person that hosted the event for one year, stepped down and appointed me the position to coordinate the next years event. This will be my third year hosting the Saddle Up for St Jude event and I love doing it. [This] will be the 20th year that this event has been taking place in the same location, Jubilee State Park Equestrian Park, in Brimfield, IL.”
The first year that Julie coordinated the event, they raised just over $18,000. Now, she hopes to send St. Jude a check for almost double that amount.
“Each year I hope to raise more money than the previous year. I also hope to spread the word for others to join me in hosting a Saddle Up event. This year I hope to send St Jude a check for at least $35,000. Last year we sent just over $34,000,” Julie said.
“We have done a wonderful job in promoting the event and getting great items for the auction. All money raised will go to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the care of children and their families with cancer. The operating cost for St Jude is $2 million each day. St Jude patients and families never receive a bill. This is remarkable! I am determined to do what I can to help keep that going and hope that they find a cure for all cancers.”
Saddle Up for St. Jude requires the generosity of individuals and businesses in order to donate items for the silent auction. This year, Best Ever Pads donated a $100 gift certificate to the Saddle Up for St. Jude event that Julie is busy promoting.
“Donations are the key to keeping the hospital running each and everyday. Without the help of so many generous people, this would not be possible… to treat all those children and help their families with food, lodging, treatment, and travel expenses,” Julie said.
“When I reach out to companies or even friends and family, I simply ask if it is possible to contribute in just a small way, that helps greatly. I am not trying to make anyone feel bad if they cannot give this time. I just ask that maybe they could think of someone they love who has been affected by cancer and donate on their behalf. You never know, you may be helping your own family someday by giving today, and providing St Jude with the money to do research and treatment to prevent cancer.”