Witches Ride

Canebrake Witches Ride, a community fundraising event benefitting Athens-Limestone Hospital Foundation’s Pink Elephant Project, will take place Sunday, Oct. 25.

Women will dress up as good witches, ride on "broomcycles" (bicycles) and "broomcarts" (golf carts), and fly through the Canebrake neighborhood, throwing candy to little goblins (kids) at designated Candy Zones. The second annual Canebrake Witches Ride has experienced 400% growth in participation with more than 250 witches, 28 business and individual sponsors, and working toward a fundraising goal of $20,000.

The Canebrake Witches Ride started in 2019 after a group of moms in the Canebrake neighborhood brainstormed ideas in their Facebook group on how to create more activities for kids and families that would in turn create a stronger community. One of those ideas was a witches ride, a type of event that has recently become popular in other communities. That brainstorming post launched into an event 30 days later with 50 witches raising roughly $450 for a local nonprofit.

One year later, during a pandemic, the Canebrake Witches Ride committee evaluated if possible to plan a 2020 event. Considering the event is outdoors providing social distancing opportunities, the committee moved forward. Because this an event geared to women and all women share the risk for breast cancer, the committee also selected The Pink Elephant Project as the benefitting nonprofit. One in eight women will be faced with this horrible disease, and in 2020 an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed. The Athens-Limestone Hospital Foundation raises funds through The Pink Elephant Project to support lowering this statistic and finding better methods for detection, care and increasing life span.

Since early detection is one of the keys for survival, the Canebrake Witches Ride and the Athens-Limestone Hospital Foundation have partnered together to raise funds specifically designated to provide scholarships for mammograms, as well as procure the newest technologies to diagnose it sooner.

Registration for the 2020 Canebrake Witches Ride opened Sept. 16. Within 24 hours, 100 women registered at either $50 or $125 donor levels. The event carries the Canebrake name due to location, but witches from other Athens neighborhoods and surrounding areas were invited to join this year’s event. Additionally, beautymarx and Radiology of Huntsville sponsored the event as presenting partners, as well as other local businesses committing sponsorships. Given the great interest in this year’s event and to ensure social distancing opportunities due to COVID-19, the committee made the decision to close registration on Sept. 30.

About the Pink Elephant Project

The Pink Elephant Project’s purpose is to raise funds as well as awareness in the fight against breast cancer. This fund was established several years ago by the Athens- Limestone Hospital Foundation to ensure residents of Limestone County who either have no medical insurance or whose insurance does not cover mammograms would have the opportunity to have this test at no charge. Since then, the fund has grown and is now able to purchase equipment and other supplies that are needed for women’s health.

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