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Delivering a healthy jolt to Fort Dodge

Volunteer group raises money for AEDs in memory of Josh Doyle

A heart problem claimed the life of Josh Doyle at the age of just 29 two years ago.

His family, friends, co-workers and a whole bunch of people who perhaps never met him joined forces for a project that will perhaps save someone else from dying from a sudden cardiac emergency. And they had fun doing it.

Those people gathered Aug. 10 for a fundraising bicycle outing they named the Prairie Trails Ride. They pledged all the money generated by the event to purchasing automatic external defibrillators which deliver a lifesaving shock to people suffering heart attacks or other heart problems.

Organizers hoped to get about 25 people out for the ride. They were pleasantly surprised when a little more than 200 people showed up.

The event raised $5,000. An automatic external defibrillator costs about $1,000, so the group was able to buy five of them. The first one was given to Athletics for Education and Success to be placed at the group’s gym.

The AEDs were presented Oct. 9.

Organizers of the Prairie Trails Ride hope to repeat their success next year and beyond, perhaps honoring the memory of other local residents and raising money for other causes.

This project, aimed at saving lives from sudden cardiac emergencies, says a lot about the heart of the people of Fort Dodge and Webster County. No official or organization directed these folks to organize the Prairie Trails Ride. Energized by the memory of Josh Doyle, they just did it.

The effort proves that even when things seem dark and gloomy there are a lot of good people in Fort Dodge and Webster County quietly working to improve the lives of their friends and neighbors. The organizers of the ride are the latest additions to a long list of people who make this area special place. We can’t thank them enough.