One Woman, One Horse And 48 States

cherry and apollo

Meredith Cherry and her horse, Apollo Photo courtesy of Dells City Journal

Meredith Cherry and her horse, Apollo, have set out on a journey to cover 10,000 miles on a four-year ride around the United States. The ride is to raise awareness about domestic violence. The “silent epidemic,” as it is known, is extremely prevalent in today’s society. Domestic violence is not often talked about, and it is estimated that one in three women will become victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. The age range for domestic violence victims is usually anywhere from 19 to 34 years old. Cherry has named her journey “The Centauride”.

Cherry and Apollo will ride through the 48 states and visit places such as domestic violence centers, women’s shelters, schools and community centers to help bring awareness and the reality of the issue to attention. They also want to provide hope for the women that have dealt with and are still dealing with the effects of domestic violence.

Cherry started her journey back in January of 2017 and has a goal to ride into the last of the 48 states in 2020. “I wanted to travel, but couldn’t decide on a place. So I just decided to ride all 48 states,” said Cherry. She prepared for her journey for over two years. Some of those preparations have included training, fitness, mapping, and logistical planning. The horse lover has a degree in Equine Science from Colorado State University.  “I have a wide range of knowledge in horses even if I don’t have a lifetime of experience,” stated Cherry. “It’s what I love, and it sounded like a lot more of an enjoyable way to travel than riding my bike all over the states.”

Back in 2014 is when Apollo found his home with his owner. He was the first horse that Cherry had owned. Cherry has been riding horses for roughly 20 years now. She escaped her own domestic violence relationship a few years ago, but the one thing she missed the most during her marriage was riding horses and traveling. Cherry decided to bring Apollo home and have him be her partner for the long journey that was ahead of her. “He knows his job. I basically don’t have to steer until we get to a corner, or if there is a car coming he knows to move over, and I don’t have to tell him so much anymore. I still do just for safety, but he knows that he has to move over if there is a car coming,” said Cherry. “He knows his job real well and for the most part he likes it. He’s at this point where he’s desensitized to everything, basically.”

Come winter seasons Cherry and Apollo make their way back home and take a break from riding until the warmer months come around again. “During the winter when I was working on my plans for this year, I was not looking forward to riding through the Midwest. ‘Booooorrrrinng,’ I said.  I figured it would be one long flat trudge through cornfields. I am happy to admit that I was wrong.  The Midwest is a great place.  There are more nice people here, the scenery is not actually boring, and while yes there is a lot of corn, it’s very pretty corn.  And there is plenty more to see and experience than cornfields,” stated Cherry. “It’s really nice here.  We did mountains pretty much all of last year; one mountain range or another, so it’s really nice to see these nice rolling hills. It’s a lot better than mountains.”

When planning her trip she was “warned” that in the Midwest there were only houses every fifteen miles and there were no places in between. “I thought, well that is kind of frightening because I have to stop every fifteen miles, so I hope everyone is friendly. But it’s not like that at all,” said Cherry.

On Friday, August 17th, Cherry and Apollo made there way into the Dell Rapids community. South Dakota is the eighteenth state on their list of the 48 states. Their route for their journey has changed a few times over the course of the adventure, but has stayed pretty close to the original route planned. The most recent of routes can be found on her website, http://www.centauride.org, as she tries to keep updated on where they are headed next. Cherry has recently changed her route and is working on getting the updated map on her site. “It will still be the same at least for the Chicago area,” said Cherry. “Seeing America at 3 mph is wonderful, but the slow pace requires that I be very efficient and careful about selecting my route.” Cherry typically tries to go north in the summer months and more to the south in the winter months to be able to get as much riding in as possible over the course of the year. “I don’t have to think too hard about when to set my alarm, nor do I need to ponder what I’m going to do with the hours in my day, but the actual routine itself is not easy nor simple,” stated Cherry.

After riding through South Dakota, Cherry and Apollo plan to make their way into North Dakota and over to Minnesota. They will continue their journey with plans of crossing the finish line of state number 48 sometime during the year of 2020. Until then, they will continue to bond over their amazing adventure and continue to raise awareness of domestic violence here in the United States while enjoying the best views they possibly can.

Want to read more from the Dells City Journal? Here’s how:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dellscityjournal/

Website: http://dellscityjournal.com/

Tammy Chamley, Managing Editor
Contact Info:
Dells City Journal
513 West 4th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
Tel: 605-428-5600
Fax: 888-397-6154
Subscription Rates are as follows:
Subscription Rates in SD: 1 Yr. $38.00
Out of State: 1 Yr. $45.00
Share and Like this story:

Local Pink Ladies Chapter Gives Back

PinkLadiesDellsCityJournal

Photo courtesy of Dells City Journal

The Dell Rapids Pink Ladies are a non-profit, all-woman organization committed to helping those in need that are battling cancer.  The Dell Rapids Pink Ladies hold various fundraisers throughout the community to raise money for local families fighting all types of cancer.  The Dell Rapids Pink ladies will provide funds to cancer patients and their families for incidental expenses.  All of the money raised stays in the Dell Rapids community and is donated to those in need.

Through the Pink Ladies website, drpinkladies.com, people can nominate individuals in primarily the Dell Rapids community that are battling cancer of any type.

“Some think we are breast cancer only, and we want to change that perception,” stated Jody Heinemann, one of the board members.

Pink Ladies will support other families that are within a 25-mile radius of Dell Rapids as well.  The chapter started as dart players, but has evolved to include more women in the community that do not play darts but still support the cause.

Pink Ladies did not start doing true fundraising up until this year.  Previously, as dart players, players would throw their darts, and if their score was less than 25, they would have to put a quarter in what they refer to as the “kitty”.  With the addition of a board and becoming a non-profit organization, they were able to start doing more to help those in need in our community.

Board members include: President-Rhonda Nelson, Vice President-Jody Heinemann, Treasurers-Paula Schrier and Jenn Kruse, Secretary-Ashley Horton, Event team-Bailey Erickson, Mindy Schmidt and Jamie Hansen. There are a total of 30 members in the chapter that are dart players and a total of 10 members that are non-dart players.

The goal for the Pink Ladies organization is to make their mission and their cause more well known in the Dell Rapids area.  To become a part of the organization or become a member, it is not required that you are a dart player. The more the community knows about the Pink Ladies cause and efforts, the more nominations they will be able to receive and be able to help the people in the community that are in need of it.

Pink Ladies held a bake sale during the city wide rummage sale back in June of this year.  The ladies were amazed and overwhelmed with the amount of donations they received and were able to raise enough funds to support six different families that were in need.

The organization is currently making plans for more events and fundraisers to help raise money needed for individuals in the community.  One of the events includes a bean bag tournament on Saturday, August 11 in the Norby’s parking lot.  They will be selling barbecues, chips, cookies, and drinks for anybody that would like to participate in or watch the tournament.  They will also be raffling off a set of pink bean bag boards at the event that were made and donated by Tim and Ashley Horton.

In October the organization plans to trick-or-treat for change instead of candy as a way to help raise money and will be promoting that event in the near future.  The Pink Ladies are also planning to sell pink ribbons at local businesses for one dollar a piece to help raise money and raise awareness.  All of the organization’s upcoming events and fundraisers can be found on their website.

Want to read more from the Dells City Journal? Here’s how:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dellscityjournal/

Website: http://dellscityjournal.com/

Tammy Chamley, Managing Editor
Contact Info:
Dells City Journal
513 West 4th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
Tel: 605-428-5600
Fax: 888-397-6154
Subscription Rates are as follows:
Subscription Rates in SD: 1 Yr. $38.00
Out of State: 1 Yr. $45.00
Share and Like this story: