Arianna’s Ride: Benefit for Family of Tionesta Woman Raises Over $10K
(Photo above courtesy Melissa French.)
The Arianna’s Ride event held on Saturday, February 23, played host to 89 ATV riders and served around 300 dinners.
“On Saturday alone we raised over $7,000.00. That was a combination of dinners, ATV ride participants, Raffle tickets, Chinese auction chances, and 50/50 tickets,” organizer Tyler Thomas told exploreClarion.com.
“Everything was amazing. Before all the riders showed up, the anticipation was so high, and once we got to about 30 to 40 vehicles, we were proud of the outcome, but they just kept coming. For really the first event like that in the area, we had so much support and we had no idea how things were going to be.”
According to Thomas, between the money raised on Saturday and other donations, the final amount raised was $10,252.56.
“I want to give a special thanks to all the sponsors that we had and everyone who donated prizes to the Chinese auction or donated deserts or food for the dinner. And, also a very special thank you to my cousin Andrew Mack and his band East Creek Road for donating their time to come to play live country music at the event,” Thomas said.
Arianna, who passed away last year, is most often remembered as North Clarion’s biggest fan. She was always there, ready to cheer on her team, at every North Clarion basketball game, home or away.
Born with Spina Bifida, Arianna was also an avid fan of outdoor sports who particularly enjoyed fishing and kayaking, as well as hunting with her father.
Following her passing, Tyler Thomas, one of Arianna’s classmates and one of the basketball players she cheered on, had the idea to hold a raffle to help raise money for Arianna’s family. He and several other North Clarion graduates, including Christina Rizer, Dylan Huet, Joey LaCombe, and Andrew McCullough, organized the event.
According to Arianna’s father, Bill Evans, the family hopes to use the money to set up scholarships in her name at North Clarion Area High School. They would also like to begin sponsoring a child for a Hunt of a Lifetime program, which Arianna experienced in 2009, each year, as well as sponsoring a child at the Heavenly Gaits Therapeutic Riding Center, a program that also benefitted Arianna.
“Arianna did therapy there and she really enjoyed that, and we’d certainly like other kids to be able to enjoy that as well,” Evans said.
(Photos below courtesy Melissa French.)
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