By Jessica Groover
Four-year-old Lexi Purser, from Indian Trail, did not realize that her first pony ride on Sunday would go toward finding a cure for juvenile diabetes. But the $5 her parents paid for the ride will do just that.
The Purser family and others went to Hollow Oak Farm for pony rides hosted by the farm’s Kickin’ Tails 4-H Club.
The club participates in several community service events a year, and when 12-year-old Midland resident Lauren Buchanan joined in the fall, the club added another cause.
Combining two of Buchanan’s interests for the event fit.
“We wanted to support the cause, and Lauren loves horses,” said Laura Harper, owner of Hollow Oak Farm. “We had the idea to host some pony rides and send the proceeds to juvenile diabetes.”
Lauren was 5 years old when she was diagnosed with juvenile, or type I, diabetes. Since then, she has participated in walks to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Lauren and her family and friends participate in a variety of fundraisers to donate money to the foundation on behalf of her team, Lauren’s Gallopers for a Cure. Her team raised $7,500 last year.
The Buchanan family will continue to raise money for the cure.
The team will participate in an April 18 walk at Carowinds and an April 25 walk at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium. Leading up to those walks, Lauren’s mother, Angie, and Peak Fitness in Harrisburg will host an open house on March 30 from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
As for Hollow Oak Farm and its 4-H Club chapter, Harper said Sunday’s pony rides may become an annual event.
“It’s good to see people enjoy the horses and help people like Lauren,” Harper said.
To donate to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on behalf of Lauren’s team, visit http://www.jdrf.org or call Angie Buchanan at 704-888-3507.
• Contact reporter Jessica Groover: 704-789-9152.