Ranch raises $21,000 for cancer center

Annual Ride for a Cure event continues to be successful in fourth year

CHASE — In just four years, participants and supporters of the annual Ride for a Cure event in Chase have raised almost $65,000 for the Spectrum Health Foundation. This year alone, more than $21,000 was raised, which is $4,000 more than last year's total.

More than 200 people mounted their horses and rode along on wagons for the fourth annual Ride for a Cure event, which took place on Sept. 13 at D Bar D Ranch in Chase.

"The amazing thing is the way it's grown in participation and in donations," said D Bar D Ranch owner and Ride for a Cure organizer Don Beach. "I have a hard time setting goals because we surpass them every year."

Ride for a Cure participants and Spectrum Health officials from the Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals gathered on Oct. 1 to make the donation official and extend their thanks. Mary Kay VanDriel, president of Spectrum Health Big Rapids and Reed City hospitals, said the money raised will go toward the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center and the programs it provides for patients.

She was thrilled to meet Ride for a Cure supporters and accept the donation.

"It's humbling to see," VanDriel said about the fundraiser. "It's leadership in action. I'm inspired by all of those involved and it's a privilege for us to serve them. It's all about getting people inspired about the need in the community and people stepping up, giving from the heart."

In addition, VanDriel presented Beach with an honorary plaque, recognizing his service and generosity to Spectrum Health Foundation.

Beach believes the amount of participation in Ride for a Cure makes the event enjoyable and meaningful. It means a lot to the volunteers who donate their time to make the fundraiser better each year, he added.

"There's no end to what this can be," Beach said. "We couldn't feel better about what we support. It means a lot to us."