EASTON — Preston Automotive Group and Glendale Riding School in Easton hosted Gallop for Gage Saturday, Oct. 21, to raise money for 7-year-old Gage Kelley of Federalsburg, who is battling leukemia.

The fundraiser was held at Glendale Riding School, and featured a horse show, a silent auction and food vendors. The money raised will go toward Gage’s medical and transportation expenses.

Gage attended the event and received a ceremonial ride around the course as the honorary guest. He was joined by his dad Shawn Kelley and Aunt LeeAnn Harden.

“Words cannot event describe our deepest love and appreciate for everybody who has been supportive through all of this,” Shawn Kelley said. “Leukemia tends to make you feel very alone and isolated sometimes because you have to be so cautious of infection, but the community’s outreach gives us the feeling we are not fighting this alone. It means a lot to know the community is with us.

“Everyone here has just been phenomenal. The support from the community, Preston Automotive and Glendale Riding School has been remarkable. We are eternally grateful for everybody.”

Throughout the day, riders participated in a variety of skills competitions. The silent auction had more than 35 items, including an airplane tour of the Eastern Shore for a family of three, tickets to the Washington International Horse Show, NASCAR tickets, a baseball ticket package for the Baltimore Orioles Minor League affiliates and gift certificates.

Caroline County Sheriff’ Randy Bounds and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Eastern Shore campaign advisor Jennifer Veil attended the event.

Bounds presented Gage with an honorary Junior Sheriff’s Deputy badge. Gage also got to hand out ribbons to the riders.

“Gage has been my rock,” Shawn Kelley said. “He has been such a positive influence on everybody around him no matter how difficult the challenges have been.

“He always keeps a smile on his face. He always keeps fighting. He reminds me to keep smiling. He is an inspiration to me and our family. He has a heart of gold.”

Richard Kimball of Preston Automotive Group and Kristin Diem helped plan the fundraiser.

“Glendale Riding School have been outstanding partners,” Diem said. “We owe a huge thank you to Molly and Jamie Foster because we have access to the entire facility.

“We are very happy to help give Gage a fun day here, and raise money to help with his medical and transportation expenses. We appreciate everyone for coming out, and all of our sponsors for support this event for Gage.”

Follow Caroline/Dorchester Editor Dustin Holt on Twitter @Dustin_StarDem.

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