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Home News-Telegram News RFL: Wagons pulling out in Relay For Life fundraiser

RFL: Wagons pulling out in Relay For Life fundraiser

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The annual Relay For Life Wagon Train Ride will kick off its fourth year Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Saltillo. The annual event not only raises funds for RFL, but also creates awareness for the American Cancer Society and its programs.

The annual wagon train started four years ago out of a few Saltillo men’s dreams of riding a wagon cross country and a young woman’s dedication to raising money for cancer awareness and research efforts. 

Bob Kearney said he’d always wanted to ride a wagon train. When his niece, Ashley McCracken, began brainstorming ways for Team McCracken to raise funds for Hopkins County Relay For Life, he saw an opportunity to do both. That’s how it got started.

“We wanted to do this for Relay For Life,” said Bob Kearney before the 2010 ride. He explained that the point of the annual ride is to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society.

This year’s ride will still feature Kearney and a group of riders traveling for weeks on end across the county to raise funds for RFL. But, instead of proceeds going to a family team, this year, all proceeds raised will benefit Saltillo School and Friends RFL Team. The school has had a team involved in RFL for several years — teens, sponsors and friends walking to raise funds for cancer research, awareness and support programs through ACS.

Lead by Kearney and Billy Cowley of Maude, the train will again depart from Saltillo and travel to Mississippi and back. Instead of heading to Vicksburg, Miss., the destination of a past ride, this year the wagon train will journey to Greenville, Miss.

The wagon train is set to begin its journey at 9 a.m. Oct. 23, from Kearney’s home on U.S. Highway 67, just west of the Saltillo store. Several are already planning to participate, but the ride this time is also open to anyone who wants to hitch up a wagon and join them. Horse riders are also welcome. The wagon train generally stops daily to camp at parks, along the road, auction yards, cowboys churches and various other locations that agree to host the group along the route. The 2010 Vicksburg ride took nearly two months to complete with four wagons pulled by mules traveling 15-20 mile per day, and reaching 30 miles per day a few times. The group accepted donations along the way, along with food and other items.

All donations are appreciated as are sponsorships. The group has a few sponsors this year, but not nearly as many as usual.

Anyone interested in making the jaunt, even a small part of it, or helping sponsor the ride to benefit Saltillo school’s RFL team, can contact Kearney at 903438-5149 or Cowley at 903-280-1180 for planning purposes.

To make a donation to the ride to benefit RFL, contact Johnna West at Saltillo school at 903-537-2386 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .




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