HOPEWELL • The first week of October in Mississippi usually brings in the cooler fall weather and beautiful changing colors of nature. It’s also a time when cowboys, trail riders, and folks with a heart for the children at St. Jude saddle up for the annual St. Jude Benefit Trail Ride in Benton County. Two thousand nineteen marks the 14th year of the Hines family’s hosting the event at Hines Farm. Horseback riders come from miles around to gather for a fun-filled day, all the while raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Fundraisers such as the Hopewell St. Jude Benefit Trail Ride help ensure that the families at St. Jude never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food while their child is sick. The event brings people together to help children battling cancer.
“Always glad to see old friends and make new ones. Good times, good people and a good cause” said Frank Hines, owner of Hines Farm.
Family, friends, and neighbors lend a hand by mowing the fields, trimming trees, decorating, and by assisting with supplying food and desserts for the lunch. But there is always a need for additional volunteers according to Frank.
In years past, the event was hosted by Curtis and Marjorie Hines, and organized by their children, Frank Hines and Beth Hines Davis. Since the passing of their parents, both Frank and Beth will continue the tradition of the benefit and are dedicating this year’s event to their parents.
“This one is for Curtis and Marjorie Hines who acted as host for more than 20 years,” said Frank Hines in a Facebook post. Frank went on to say that he would like to raise $20,000. Last year’s event brought in around $14,000. All proceeds from the benefit go to St. Jude.
Although the event doesn’t officially begin till October 5, the Pickin’ in the Thicket will start around 6:30 p.m. on Friday, October 4 for those who want to come a day early and camp out the night before the ride. The early birds can enjoy live music performances, a delicious cowboy dinner, and lively fellowship around a bonfire.
Registration will take place that Saturday from 7 - 9 a.m. Riders will be expected to show their negative Coggins papers at the gate. There is no age limit for participants, and there is no set donation amount to be able to ride. The first group of riders will leave at 9 a.m. and another group at 10 a.m.
A journey of three hours of rich autumn scenery along the trails at Hinds Farm will give the riders a relaxing peaceful start for their day. Included on the land is a lake and water break. Following the ride, lunch will be available to purchase in the thicket. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and stick around for the auction that takes place during lunch. Donations for the auction are greatly appreciated. There will be a chance to win a Henry Golden Boy .22 rifle from purchased raffle tickets. The drawing for the winning number will take place around 2 p.m. along with a giveaway of a Corriente Saddle.
Frank Hines and his family invites everyone to come saddle up for a great cause and enjoy a day of Happy Trails.
Hines Farm is located at 2697 Saulsbury Road, Walnut, MS. You can find more information on their Facebook page, Hopewell St. Jude Benefit Trail Ride.