Back Prairie Rivers Trail Ride

Its philanthropic goals celebrate Josh Doyle’s memory

The friends and family of Josh Doyle have found a way to honor his memory while at the same time helping the community he called home. They have created a fundraising event called the Prairie Rivers Trail Ride. The inaugural bicycle ride will be Saturday.

Doyle passed away two years ago at age 29. He was the victim of a rare heart condition called an aortic dissection.

Losing this vibrant young man at such a young age was a shock to his family and friends. They not only wanted him to be remembered, but also wanted to accomplish that memorialization goal in a way that would benefit the town he loved. It was decided to create the Prairie Rivers Trail Ride to raise money to provide automated external defibrillators at locations throughout Fort Dodge. These devices, which can be save lives if they are quickly available when a heart event occurs, are expensive. Each costs about $1,000 to purchase and install.

The money the initial fundraiser generates will make it possible for more defibrillators to be close at hand should a Fort Dodger or a visitor to our community experience a relevant heart problem. That will help make our community safer and could be critical to saving lives. Being able to deploy a defibrillator fast is absolutely crucial. The first defibrillator funded by this project will be placed at the Athletics for Education & Success gym.

The organizers decided on a bike ride as a fundraising approach because they also want to celebrate our county’s magnificent system of trails. They hope to make this an annual event and to support various worthy causes in the years ahead. They also anticipate that future rides will memorialize additional Fort Dodgers who have passed away.

“The idea is to promote the trail system and honor others in the future so that we can continue to make it something community supported and give back to the community,” Bruce Breeser, one of the organizers, told The Messenger.

Josh Doyle’s mother, Jean Doyle, said the philanthropic concept embodied in the Prairie Rivers Trail Ride is very much in harmony with the way her son lived his life.

“He was always the first one there to help,” she said.

The Messenger applauds this worthy project. We encourage our readers to give it strong backing and help it become a long-term part of our town’s impressive array of philanthropic endeavors.

For more information or to register for the Prairie Rivers Trail Ride, call (515) 302-8800 or (515) 570-4959. The bike ride will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at River Hops Brewing, 1014 Central Ave.