BY LEANN DILBECK –
When you combine passion with purpose, you get an unstoppable motivation…and in the case of Jerri Krueger, you get a top fundraiser for the American Heart Association’s Hoof Beats for the Heart – Beach Ride.
Many around Mena will quickly recognize Jerri and her horse “Baby” but what many may not know is that she has combined her passion of horses with a purpose to raise money for cardiovascular research after losing her mother from complications stemming from a stroke earlier this year.
The event is set to take place in Myrtle Beach at the Lakewood Camping Resort from October 30 through November 3. The event is in its 32nd year and began with just 20 riders but has grown to over 1,000 participants and is considered the largest trail ride of its kind.
“The funds raised will support research projects and educational programs to benefit the American Heart Association, says Sara Nelson, Director of Development at the AHA.
The event goal is $225,000 and is currently at $146,000, of which Jerri is responsible for $3,634 (and growing) of.
“This will be a 2,000 mile test of heart for me…and my little American Morgan Horse, Baby… all the way from Mena to the white sands of the Atlantic. I just want to try to make a difference!” explained Jerri. Baby’s registered name is “Bar Non Dream Gold” and she is 9-years old.
Jerri has already passed her personal goal of raising $3,000 and said 100% of the money donated goes straight to the AHA. “I’m not asking for people to pay for my personal vacation to Myrtle Beach. This is all for the Heart Association.”
Jerri explained that she chose AHA to funnel her efforts because of their dedication to research and their efforts to help everyone. Astounding statistics from AHA state that cardiovascular disease kills more than 2,200 people every day. That means that every 39 seconds, someone will lose their life. Heart disease is the number one health threat facing Americans…more deadly than all forms of cancer combined.
Jerri is a member of the Driggers team, whose team captain is riding for his 23rd straight year. The team will make a 113-mile journey from Driggers’ hometown in Dillon County, South Carolina as a “wagon-train,” taking a five-day trip on the back roads all the way to Myrtle Beach. Driggers will be driving his own covered wagon pulled by his two mules “Jim and Jeff.” They will pack all their own food, cook their own meals in their wagon-train circle and will spend 9-10 hours on the road each day.
For more information on the AHA event, AHABeachRide.org. All donations are completely tax deductible, and Jerri is grateful for any amount given and for the very generous support she’s been shown thus far. To donate to her cause, you may send your check or money-order to the American Heart Association, 1113 44th Ave., North, Suite 200, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 and note “Beach Ride – Jerri Krueger” on the memo line.