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Mud ride raises $14,000 for child’s doctor bills

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By Randy Patrick

An ATV ride in a muddy field and on woodsy trails Saturday raised $14,000 for a little girl’s medical expenses.

Andy Anderson came up with the idea for four-wheelers when a buddy at work, Andy Cook, told him about problems he and his wife Jennifer were having getting help for their 2-year-old daughter, Gianna, who has autism and other health issues.

Anderson knew his neighbor, Fred Boone, had experience with fundraisers, so they planned an all-day event that included an ATV ride on Boone’s farm at 5690 New Hope Road and property Anderson leases, as well as an auction and live music by the band Low Down that night at Boone’s home.

The party lasted from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.

Cook had no idea what Boone and Anderson were doing.

“We kept it a secret from him for three months,” Anderson said.

The money raised came from donations, a $10 admission fee and the auction. The Nestlé food and beverage company was a sponsor.

“It was a pretty good turnout, considering the weather,” Anderson said.

In fact, the weather was ideal for some of the riders. It rained all day, making the ground muddy, especially in the bottom land where most of the four-wheel-drive trucks, all-terrain vehicles and a couple of home-made buggies stayed most of the time.

The original plan was to ride the trails, but few did. The soggy field was the main attraction.

“It made it really fun,” Anderson said. “They did a number on my field, but it was for a good cause.”

Gianna, who “doesn’t do crowds very well,” according to Anderson, didn’t attend, but her parents did, and took part in the ATV ride.

“They had never been mudding before, but they played in it and had a really good time,” he said.

The Cooks live near Cincinnati, and Andy Cook works with Anderson at Electrical Construction Management in Louisville.

Anderson said the Cooks were “overwhelmed” by the gift.