Mid-Day Lions Annual Horse Drawn Carriage Rides led by Betsy and Zeke prepare to disembark for the Christmas Lights Wagon Ride, Friday evening. (Mark Wilson Photo)
The first riders at this year’s old-fashioned horse drawn wagon rides, held by the Roswell Mid-day Lions Club, warmed themselves by a fire and ate holiday snacks after their tour.
Aniston Montoya, 3, bundled in a pink jacket, asked her mom if she could pet the horses.
“Can I pet his nose?” she asked her mom, Sonya.
LaNette Irby, of Carlsbad, driver and owner of the two horses, said she enjoys helping out the Lions Club event every year.
“This is my hobby,” Irby said. “I really enjoy the charity. It’s why I got into it.”
The wagon that carried a full load of passengers beginning outside the SP Yates Scout Service Center Conquistador Council on 2603 N. Aspen St., is owned by the club.
The group toured Christmas lights around the neighborhood.
The club hosts the event every year to raise funds for children in need of glasses, said club president Leandro Gutierrez.
“This is our fundraiser for our organization,” Gutierrez. “It helps us buy glasses for students that need help and who can’t get it through any other means.”
Many children are referred to the organization through school nurses, he said. The club organizes an exam and helps purchase glasses, if necessary.
Friday’s kickoff went well, Gutierrez said.
“The rides were full and the tickets were sold,” he said. “Our goal of course is to fill every ride. The costs have more than doubled in the last few years.”
The club has also helped the statewide Lions Club program called Eye Care for Kids.
The event will continue tonight and Sunday, from 6-9:30 p.m., and again Dec. 20-22, from 6-9:30 p.m.
To buy a ticket and schedule a ride, call 317-8211.