"Ride for the Red" Raises More than $10,000 - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

"Ride for the Red" Raises More than $10,000

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Disastrous events that have occurred in our area -- from floods to fires -- take an emotional toll on those they affect. But, behind it all, those incidents take a financial toll on one organization that's often there to help.  KTEN's Jhen Kordela explains.  

For every minor -- and major -- disaster in Grayson, Fannin and Cooke counties, the Texoma chapter of the Red Cross has pulled up right behind emergency response.

"We support the hurricanes -- the national efforts, floods that we've had in Cooke County, Grayson County, the bus accident that we had on the highway," says Sara Jerome, fundraiser chairman.

And, now it's time to give back. More than 300 riders drove about 150 miles Sunday -- all in the name of the Red Cross.

"Our funds are low, so we're trying to have some fun ways to raise a little bit of money for the Red Cross here locally," says Jerome.

The organization pulled it off by creating a poker run with checkpoints in the three counties it serves.

"(We) went to Bonham, then Tioga, then went to Gainesville and came back here," says Billy McFarland, who rode for the red.

The ride ended at Loose Wheels in Denison, where chefs faced off in a competition of their own.  

"I am here for the chili cook off and all the other activities," says Myrna Sandefur, at the event.  "and I'll be able to donate what money I can to go to the Red Cross."

Some came specifically for the charitable cause, but for Tim Coen and Bruce Whitaker, the event came as a surprise.

"Actually, we rode in purely by accident," says Tim Coen at the event.

Added Coen's friend, Bruce Whitaker: "Just happened to show up. We were looking for some place to ride -- we didn't know what was going on here."

"Next thing we know, we rode in, saw all these people and the American Red Cross -- everybody carrying around a little red cup and come to find it was a chili cook off," says Coen. "Needless to say, the two of us love chili, so we bought our cups, support the cause, and here we are."

Participants raised an excess of $10,000.

- Jhen Kordela, KTEN News.