GIVE BACK FOR SPECIAL EQUESTRIANS PRESENTS $10,000 DONATION TO GALLOPNYC
GallopNYC was the proud recipient of a $10,000 contribution from Give Back for Special Equestrians, the Florida-based, all-volunteer nonprofit 501c3 that provides therapeutic horseback riding scholarships for disabled children and veterans.
Give Back for Special Equestrians founder Sissy DeMaria presented the donation at a cocktail reception held at the SUNY Global Center on September 21. The end of summer soiree was held prior to the Rolex Central Park Horse Show and was attended by GallopNYC board members, supporters and a select group of philanthropists and equestrians. Notable guests in attendance included Alicia Kershaw, Executive Director of GallopNYC; Sol Reischer and Sam Hinton, GallopNYC Board members and parents of riders; GallopNYC Board Members Constance Hunter and Hans LaVerge Kylie Long, rider and member of GallopNYC’s Equestrian Team; and GallopNYC supporters Equus Foundation, Blythe and Honour Masters, David Kratz, Herb Sambol, Jean Ervasti and Kim and Stephen Meringoff.
This was the second year in a row that Give Back for Special Equestrians, formerly known as Give a Buck for Special Equestrians, was able to make a financial gift to GallopNYC which offers therapeutic horsemanship programs to children and adults with disabilities and special needs, as well as veterans and at-risk youth, at six locations in New York serving 500 riders a week.
“We are humbled by the mission of GallopNYC and the great work they are doing to improve the quality of life and spirits of those facing some of life’s most difficult challenges,” said DeMaria. “It gives us tremendous joy to be able to pay forward all of the happiness that horses have brought to our lives with these very special equestrians.”
GallopNYC brings the proven benefits of therapeutic horsemanship to children and adults with disabilities in NYC. Therapeutic horseback riding provides measurable benefits for people with developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges. Through weekly riding sessions with PATH-certified instructors, we help riders walk, talk and learn, inspiring them to live their lives as fully, independently and productively as possible. Riders in the program include people diagnosed with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Strokes, Diabetes, and other conditions affecting muscles, learning and speech are among hundreds of thousands of people in New York who have mental, developmental, physical and emotional disabilities. GallopNYC also works with veterans, court involved youth, and girls at risk.
Life is sunnier on horseback to a child or adult with a physical, developmental or emotional disability, the power and warmth of a horse strengthens and tones muscles, improves balance, head control and coordination, builds measurable social and academic skills and self-esteem, and offers a sense of freedom and equality. Horseback riding gently and rhythmically simulates the human gait, so riders with physical disabilities improve their flexibility and muscle strength.
The horses and ponies in the programs, most of which are in their 20s, seem to understand and enjoy their roles, calmly taking their riders with disabilities on a gentle but developmentally challenging ride.
Alicia Kershaw, GallopNYC’s ED said: “We cherish our horses, as do our riders, and the support of Give A Buck is very meaningful as it comes from a community of horse lovers. We greatly appreciate this gift, which will help us serve more of the many New Yorkers who can benefit from time with and on a horse. WE thank Give a Buck for sharing our belief in ability.”
“For a group of equine enthusiasts, horsepower is not just a unit of measurement, rather the special way horses and ponies are able to lift spirits, clear minds, and exercise bodies, providing a sense of wellbeing,” says Dr. Heather Kuhl, Give Back for Special Equestrians who was instrumental in helping kick start the organization founded in 2013 in Vero Beach, Fl. “Give Back for Special Equestrians is as a simple way for the equestrian community to share their love of horses and their many blessings.”
For more information about Give Back for Special Equestrians please call 305.608.5350 or visit giveabuckeq.org. You can also like the organization on Facebook. For more information on GallopNYC visit GallopNYC.org, or find us under GallopNYC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.