Concordia Mounted Patrol has fun raising money

Published 12:08 am Sunday, May 18, 2008

HAPHAZARD — Marie Cowan has been involved with fundraisers for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for many years, so when she became involved with the Concordia Parish Mounted Patrol Unit, it was only natural for her to continue her efforts.

Cowan is the director for the fifth annual Concordia Parish Mounted Patrol Trail Ride to help raise money for the hospital based in Memphis that treats children for leukemia and other childhood illnesses.

About 25 riders paid the $10 fee to take a two-hour trail ride from the M&D Hunting Club through Haphazard up to Dunbarton, where they would stop for lunch and then take the trail ride back to the hunting club.

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In addition to the riding fees, members of the mounted patrol, a volunteer group affiliated with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, have been collecting donations throughout the past few weeks.

“We haven’t collected all the money yet, but we hope to be able to give a good bit to St. Jude,” Cowan said. “It’s a great organization.”

Cowan said she began helping St. Jude when her children were in elementary schools.

Cowan would coordinate the St. Jude Bike-a-Thons and then helped with other St. Jude fundraisers when her children began participating in 4-H horse clubs.

Cowan said an encounter with a child who has been helped by St. Jude is an example of why she supports the hospital.

“A family called me (before a fundraiser) and said their child had cancer and was in St. Jude undergoing chemotherapy and asked what they could do to help,” Cowan said. “I told them to bring her to the event and we all met her.

“Four or five years later we had another fundraiser and that same girl came and looked me up. Her cancer was in remission and she looked as healthy as could be.”

Cowan said cases like that is why she enjoyed having fundraisers such as the trail ride to support St. Jude.

“What they do is very rewarding,” Cowan said. “I get excited about sending any (monetary) amount to St. Jude. I know what they can do in their research to help find a cure for cancer in children.”