February 14, 2018
On March 31 more than 300 riders on horseback from across the state of Iowa will deliver donations to Easter Seals Iowa Camp Sunnyside, 401 NE 66th Ave. in Des Moines. In its 50-year history the group has donated more than $10 million to support Easter Seals Iowa and Camp Sunnyside.
The community is invited to welcome the riders into Camp Sunnyside at 3 p.m.
The Pony Express Riders of Iowa host fundraisers in their home Iowa counties throughout the year. The riders deliver the amount raised to Camp Sunnyside on Easter weekend. Regional rides start throughout the state on March 30 and meet at the John Deere Ankeny plant at 2:30 p.m. March 31 for the big ride into Camp Sunnyside. The event concludes with a victory dance to announce the year's grand total.
Pony Express Riders of Iowa Founders Stub Johnson, Leo Gray, and Wayne Neilson had the idea to ride "Pony Express Style" county to county, not to carry mail but to carry money to help Iowa children and adults with disabilities. The first ride was held in NW Iowa and raised $12,000. The success spurred them to expand the ride throughout the state the following year. No formal qualifications are needed to become a member of Pony Express - men, women, and children join in the common cause of helping children and adults with disabilities. Other states have patterned groups after the Iowa model but none have come close to matching the success and support of Iowa's Pony Express. www.ponyexpressridersofiowa.org.