ODON— On Saturday the community is invited to jump in the Jeep, side-by-side or ATV or on a motorcycle and help fight cancer by raising money for the fifth annual Side-by-Side Cancer Ride hosted by the Odon VFW Post 9627.
Auxiliary President Cindy Ryan said registration will begin at 9 a.m. with the ride beginning at 10 a.m. from the VFW.
“Our first stop will be at Walnut Hill Cemetery for a short prayer service honoring all those lost to cancer,” said Ryan who said the event is open to anyone age 18 and over and drivers pay $20 while passengers pay $10. The ride takes place rain or shine.
Other stops along the route Longbranch Saloon in Elnora, the Odon Tavern, River Inn in Newberry, and the Lonely Nights Saloon in Crane before returning to Odon VFW.
“After the ride, a taco buffet will be provided to all those who participated in the ride. People who did not ride and want a meal, a free will donation will be accepted,” said Ryan, who said the idea for the cancer ride, which benefits those fighting cancer, started a few years ago when a good friend of the Auxiliary was diagnosed with cancer. “To help this friend with expenses, the Auxiliary members organized a benefit. The benefit was a huge success and she was able to go on that ride and have a great time. She passed away several months later but to keep her memory alive and to help others battling cancer, an annual ride still takes place.”
Since that first event, over $66,000 and more than 48 families have been helped.
“Cancer patients and their families are referred to the Odon VFW & Auxiliary by contacting a Post or Auxiliary member,” said Ryan. “Most people you talk to, have in one way or another, had cancer in their family or had cancer themselves. Some people have had friends or family members die from this dreaded disease.”
Also part of the fun are several raffles and even those who don’t own a side-by-side or other open top vehicle can still participate.
“Those unable to make the ride are encouraged to send a donation to the VFW, checks made out to the VFW can be mailed to Odon VFW, 212 E. Elnora St, Odon, IN, 47562. Please put Cancer Ride Donation in the memo,” said Ryan.