South Mississippi cowgirls provide disaster aid

STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A group of cowgirls from South Mississippi are headed to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on a tornado relief mission.

Six members of a riding club called the "Trail-Graz-Hers" loaded their horse trailers with supplies and hit the road this morning.

These "sisters in the saddle" have experience with disaster relief work. Their first disaster relief trip was to Texas following Hurricane Ike in 2008. This time, the trail leads to tornado ravaged Alabama.

"Trinity United Methodist Church called us and said, 'We've got so many people that want to donate and give, would you all be interested in making a trip?' And within two days, we put it all together," said Trail-Graz-Her Judy Longo.

Horse trailers loaded with donated goods will provide meals and essential goods to the tornado victims around Tuscaloosa.

"It's such a blessing to us. Anytime we start something, it just gets bigger than we ever expected," said club member, Rose Lee Burwell.

The "Trail-Graz-Hers" are well-suited for such assignments. These trailers provide lots of room for supplies, plus there's no need for hotel rooms with this disaster team.

"We're not a burden to anybody because we've got our own beds to sleep in. So, we're self contained," said Rhonda Myrick.

"We know how to air up tires, and we know how to change tires," said Longo, as she put air in the trailer's tires.

"I'm very proud of this group. We have a lot of fun together. We do hard work together. We pray together. It's a great group of ladies," said Susan Hough.

This is the group's first disaster relief trip to Alabama, but more will likely follow. Jeannie Scarborough is looking forward to it.

"It's just such a great opportunity to be able to help people. It makes you feel so good when people are donating from everywhere. We have more stuff than we can even bring this time, so we'll be going back again," Scarborough said.

These "sisters in the saddle" would like to set an example.

"That's what our goal is. We really want people to get involved. Say, 'Hey, if those six girls can do it, we can do it,'" said a smiling Longo.

The "Trail-Graz-Hers" set-up camp at Snow Hinton Park in Tuscaloosa. That park is being used as a headquarters for several church teams, relief groups and others providing aid to the tornado victims.

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