In early October, ARU welcomed 20 special needs clients of Community Interactions of Swarthmore. They had a ball, learning about horses and interacting, hands on, with our special horses and ponies. Check out our facebook page for pictures that will warm your heart. We hope that some of them will return to ARU as students and volunteers.
ZIP IS THE THERAPY HORSE OF THE YEAR IN PENNSYLVANIA
Our spotted Appaloosa gelding, Zipped In Black Magic, after competing with thirty five other horses, has been proclaimed the
Therapy Horse of the Year by the PA National Horse Show Foundation. What makes Zip so special is the fact that he is
totally blind and the fact that a disabled horse can be so sensitive to so many students with varied special needs is truly amazing.
Zip will be crowned on October 20 at 4:30 PM in the Harrisburg Farm Show Arena during the National Horse Show. All of the
friends of ARU and Zip are invited to attend the ceremony.
CHRISTINE SMEEKENS (1966-2018)
PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL HORSE SHOW FOUNDATION GRANT
In September, ARU received $1,000 from the PNHSF to aid us in the continuation of our mission. We are most grateful.
For the sixth year in a row, a large number of employees, 43 this year, came to the aid of ARU during the first two weeks of May, as part of their "Serve With Liberty" annual voluntary project. This year, despite some weather inhibitions, groups
began the construction of the handicapped access bathroom within the arena area. This bathroom will make it much more convenient for special needs students, rather than having to travel outside to the porta-john. They also helped to begin the construction of a run in shed in the field in front of the main barn. Other groups of employees worked at the annual project of painting hundreds of yards of four board wood fencing that is always in need of freshening up. It looks terrific. A great thank you to all who participated!
HOPE FOR CHILDREN GRANT AND DELAWARE COUNTY COMMUNITY FUND
On October 20, ARU was notified that we have been selected, after a very competitive process, to receive a $2,500 grant to initiate a pilot program of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy for the benefit of sexually abused children in Delaware County. Therapists from Family Support Line will team with the horses and ARU Equine Specialists in Mental Health and Learning in an innovative and unconventional atmosphere to aid in the recovery of these children.
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
In May, 2017, twenty-nine employees came to help ARU, coordinated by board member Beth Molnar. They did a great job in weeding the entrance driveway and then unloaded 135 bales of hay from New Jersey.
SUPPORT FOR VETERANS
As a result of a competitive grant application to PATH Intl, ARU has been awarded, for the third successive year, the funding to support therapeutic riding for our deserving veterans of any age. This year's grant will allow us to give lessons to seven veterans beginning in March, 2017. Through the relationship with our veteran student, Jana Stanley, we have been introduced to a number of new riders and are anxious to begin their experience at ARU.
It is with great sadness that ARU marks the passing of our dear friend and devoted student of more than six years. Her gracious smile and sense of humor endeared Chris to all who knew her. She especially loved her mount, Zip, and the adorable mini, Cooper. Chris possessed admirable courage and her enthusiasm was infectious. Although she might be initially hesitant about mastering a new riding skill, she trusted Zip and the program staff and challenged herself to overcome her fears head on. She took great pride in her accomplishments and ARU celebrated with her. Her sister, Holly, wants to share that Chris relished the happiness and independence she found at ARU and we, in return, thank Holly for allowing Christine to grace our lives. ARU is greatly indebted to so many of Chris' friends and family who have donated to All Riders Up as a testament to the widespread joy she gave to so many.
COOPER VISITS COOPER AND FRIENDS
Through the great efforts of our Barn Manager, Ange Weiss, and our Volunteer Coordinator, Karen Ersek (after volunteer Marlena Sciecinski had done a marvelous body clip) transported our miniature horse, Cooper, for a visit to the John G. Leach School in Delaware, where our very special ARU student, Cooper, is enrolled. Cooper, the horse did his variety of tricks and the children were enthralled.
Here are a few of the sights of the day as immortalized by mom, Lindsey Fotos. Many more can be found on our facebook page.
Our wonderfully reliable Samantha Facciolo has recently successfully completed the instructor certification process at a three day PATH Intl testing site in Florida.
ALL RIDERS UP
DELTA UPSILON of SWARTHMORE COLLEGE
For the fourth year, a group of DU brothers helped ARU with heavy chores at the Center. They also held a fundraiser for ARU.
Their generosity in time and money is greatly appreciated.
NEW BOARD MEMBER
ARU is pleased to announce the election of David M. Rice to our Board of Directors. "Mike" came to us as a volunteer in the barn and with lessons after reading an article in the Garnet Valley Living magazine. Once we became better acquainted, we learned that he is the retired CEO of some of the largest non profit corporations for special needs individuals in Pennsylvania. He has agreed to join the Board and his expertise will be invaluable to us going forward.
Following the July 4 holiday, 2016, ARU will, of necessity, join all the other local PATH Intl Centers by holding series of eight week "sessions" with a one week break between sessions. The intervening week will allow for makeup holiday lessons, educational events/clinics, volunteer training and a respite for the volunteers and our equine partners.
GIVE WITH LIBERTY-2016
For the fifth year, ARU welcomed employees (coordinated by Jen Richards) of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Co for its annual "Give With Liberty" week of voluntary service to local nonprofit charities. In the past, Liberty Mutuals hard working employees were indispensable in the construction of our Sensory Trail. On the first day this year, a large group had fun removing an old line of deteriorated fence and installing a new line of four board fencing near the back barn. On the second day, a different group of volunteers repainted hundreds of yards of fence despite cold weather and impending rain. On Friday, a large group worked with a master carpenter to construct two large doors for the back barn and four doors for the main barn. These doors will help to keep the horses warm in the winter. The employees worked way beyond their planned departure time and learned a great deal about carpentry. Each year more employees come to help, and this year, there were 60!. Because of this great number, Liberty Foundation donated $1000 to ARU. ARU is so grateful to Liberty Mutual and looks forward to next year's "Give With Liberty" week.
WORLD PREMIER OF "GIFT HORSES"
David Block's documentary on Therapeutic Riding premiered at the Philadelphia Independent Film & Video Association's presentation on February 10, 2016. ARU and some of our students play a prominent part in the film. A number of our "stars" and some of the donors to the documentary were present at L'Etage in Philadelphia for the screening. Once the film is truly open to the public, we will post it on our facebook page for all to view.
JOE AND MILLIE MALRIAT & ELWYN
In the first week of November, ARU was overwhelmed with gratitude for the unexpected donation made by Joe and Millie, who have been long time supporters of our mission.
Joe and Millie have provided the funds for lessons for two adult day students at Elwyn Institute for the entire coming year. Our words cannot sufficiently thank them for their donation.
PAINTING WITH A TWIST
On October 25, as a result of the impetus of volunteer Stephanie McGough, twenty-two of the friends and family of ARU participated in a fundraiser at "Brushed by a Dream" in Media. They painted a still life of two pumpkins, with the help of studio professionals, in honor of Halloween and had so much fun that they want to return for another lesson. Fifty percent of the lesson fee was donated to ARU.
T SHIRT SALE
We now have the popular ARU T shirts available in either Teal or White for $20. Email us with your size (S,M, L,XL)
BBC PARTYING FOR A PURPOSE
On September 10, ARU sponsored a fundraising party at the BBC Tavern and Grill in Greenville, DE. We were overwhelmed by the turnout of our friends and supporters to the event. The silent auction items were a huge hit and we can't sufficiently thank the individuals and corporations who donated those goods and services. Everyone had a wonderful time and, as a result, ARU benefitted in the amount of nearly $5,000.
PHILADELPHIA VA HEALTH FAIR
On September 1, Board member Aniele Kendrick and cofounder Art Laver represented ARU at the Philadelphia Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Although, nominally, for people living with Multiple Sclerosis, they met many veterans with varying disabilities. and several seemed very interested in becoming students at ARU. We hope to see them soon.
WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT-
Once our unbelievably cold winter left Garnet Valley, All Riders Up was able to begin its active association with the WWP. We are now serving six WWP Alumni with riding lessons and hope the number will increase in the future.
DCIU 4th ANNUAL AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH RESOURCE FAIR-
Marcy and Art represented ARU at the DCIU Marple Education Center on April 23rd, along with about thirty other service organizations. They met many families interested in our Center and the lessons we offer.
LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY-2015
For the third year, ARU welcomed 35 employees for the annual "Give With Liberty" week of community service. Previously, the Liberty Mutual employees were instrumental in helping ARU construct the stations of the Sensory Trail. This year, they helped construct the storage bins within the arena, helped to construct a wheelchair accessible platform in front of the bleacher observation area of the arena, and did lots of fence painting. We thank Liberty Mutual for their continued support!
Through the coordination of Board Member, Aniele Kendrick, and the kind donations of items from the ARU family and friends, our first yard sale, on May 9, of household items and horse tack was an overwhelming and unimagined success. The highlight of the sale and the most popular station was the delicious gourmet offerings of Toni and Jan Vitello. We can't sufficiently thank our volunteers who made it all possible by their hard work.
COMPUTER AID, INC
Later in May, Tracy Hobbs, the daughter of super volunteer, Dave Firlein, attracted her Green Team coworkers at CAI to come to the Center for a day of service. They helped to construct a wheelchair exit ramp from the rear of the main barn to the entrance of the arena and completed much of the fence painting project.
ENTERPRISE RENT A CAR-
On July 9, by the coordination of Board Member, Rebecca Farrell, Enterprise Holdings, a longtime and greatly valued supporter of ARU, sent 87 of its summer interns from the greater Philadelphia area to the Center for a day of service. They did a magnificent job in cleaning up the area from the devastation of the recent storms. In addition, many interns loaded and unloaded hay and others painted horse fence. We could not believe how much they accomplished and how eager they were to help.
The spring edition of the Swarthmore College Bulletin featured a story about ARU entitled, "Horse Power". The story came about as a result of the 50th alumni reunion of cofounder Art Laver. In addition to the story, there is a video and a slideshow of the Center, which can be viewed at the Bulletin's website.
Become a friend of ARU at our new Facebook page. Check it out: All Riders Up
MORE ACCOLADES FOR ZIP
Zip was recently admitted to the Equus Foundation Horse Stars Hall of Fame. This is a program "CELEBRATING the extraordinary talent of horses and the magical bond between horses and people, honoring the contributions of amazing horses, SHARING the stories of their humanitarian feats, and BUILDING a more informed and compassionate America that values the impact of horses in our lives". You can read much more of Zip's history written by Samie Facciolo on the Equus Foundation website and on our Facebook page, with pictures courtesy of Lindsey Fotos.
Zip was also recognized as the "Inspiring Story " of the spring 2018 issue of STRIDES magazine, the quarterly journal of PATH Intl sent to over 800 Member Centers and thousands of individual members worldwide. The article tells the story of our blind "wonder horse", Zipped in Black Magic, and his transformation from a champion show horse to the Pennsylvania Horse Show Foundation Therapy Horse of the Year. The story can be found on the PATH Intl and the ARU Facebook pages.
LIBERTY MUTUAL 2018
For the seventh consecutive year, almost fifty employees of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company came to ARU as their "Give With Liberty" two weeks of service to community nonprofits. Through the years, these men and women have been remarkable in their willingness to render help in any way possible. This year, in addition to the annual fence painting task, they completed the fabrication of the run in shed in the field in front of the barn. They also continued the construction of the handicapped access bathroom within the arena. These folks are just fabulous! Thank you.