Not only is the 2nd Chance Trail Ride going ahead with their annual ride to raise awareness and funds for organ donations in the Lakeland, but this year’s event will feature a drive-in concert as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations on May 8.
Presented by Mussell Records, “Tunes and Tailgates” will be a live 90-minute show featuring Aaron Pritchett, Ray Mussell of Paradise Motel, Cross Parallel, and Chantelle Mussell with all the proceeds from the show going to the 2nd Chance Trail Ride Society.
“I’m looking forward to hitting the stage with these other talented acts to help support this organization. Organ donation impacts everyone and many of us have been touched by transplant in some way,” said Mussell.
“I realize the impact this event in Elk Point will have in raising funds and awareness for this great cause. I am beyond honoured to be a part of it,” said Aaron Pritchett.
Pritchett recorded a new song about organ donation with Ray Mussel to be released on April 7, which is Green Shirt Day. Called Still, You Breathe, it was inspired by the founder of the 2nd Chance Trail Ride Society, Morris Irvine.
Irvine received a double lung transplant in 2011. In 2019 he received the Logan Boulet Humanitarian of the Year award for his work in raising awareness about the need for organ donors.
“I think about my donor every day, and I think about his family every year at Christmas time,” said Irvine.
He said he still remembers the morning he got the call asking him to be in Edmonton in three hours. It had snowed the night before.
“And I said three hours from here, that’s not quite enough. And they said well can you do it in four hours? And I said yes,” said Irvine.
Fae Irvine, his wife of 55 years chimed in to explain it had been “a bit of a panic” for them to get to Edmonton. Their designated driver had left for Palm Springs earlier that day and they had to scramble to find someone else to drive him. Thankfully one of their daughters was able to leave her children with her in-laws and make the trip. According to the Irvines, she stayed for another three months after the operation to help.
“After my operation, I was in intensive care and I come to and I realized I didn’t have air hoses in my nose. And I took a small breath. And a little bigger breath, and I didn’t have that pressure in the chest anymore. And then I took a deep, deep breath,” said Irvine.
Before the transplant, Irvine spent three years on oxygen and could barely walk ten feet before he needed to stop for breath. Now, he goes fishing and moose hunting with his grandchildren, and won a gold medal in the 5km walking race at the Transplant Games in Calgary.
The 2nd Chance Trail Ride Society supports people going through the organ and tissue transplant process through programs like their transplant housing program, which provides furnished lodgings for transplant recipients and their caregivers who spend an average of three months receiving treatment at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.
The non-profit organization also has a financial assistance program that contributes gift cards to pay for parking, food, and gas through that process.
Ordinarily, funds are raised through the annual trail ride. According to the Irvines, this year’s ride will be a bring your lunch and bring your own horse kind of day because they’re not able to provide the wagons they have in previous years while complying with AHS COVID-19 regulations. Riders will be making a staggered start with a new cohort heading out every ten minutes from the starting point in Lindbergh and there will be a poker rally ending in Elk Point between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
“Tunes and Tailgates” will take place in the Prairie Tech Oil Services field in Elk Point, with gates opening at 6 p.m. and the show starting at 7 p.m. Admissions will be charged on a per-vehicle basis, but you can’t have more spectators than seatbelts in your rig during the show.
According to organizers for the event, once your vehicle is parked in the assigned space you are free to set up on the grass in front with your lawn chair or watch the show from your tailgate as long as you stay in your assigned space. They do ask participants to “wear your mask and continue to maintain all social distancing requirements.”
Concessions will not be available at the event because of COVID restrictions. In order to comply with AHS and Alberta Government guidelines, ticket sales are online only through Showpass.
Aaron Pritchett and Ray Mussell will be appearing live on Connected! with Jena & Husband Chad at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 17.