Host Lisa Sussman was at Ron Bergeron’s Green Glades West Ranch for Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida for the sixth annual Wild West Night benefiting Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida in memory of Meggan Morency.
Attendees got a special treat this year as the event featured a concert by country music star Jake Owen. The event also featured an auction, food, games, and a procession of children on horseback.
The event was named after Meggan Morency, who was killed 12 years ago in a horse-riding accident while competing in an equestrian competition. Her father, Bob Morency, said the family decided to support a charity event to honor her memory.
“My daughter’s first love was horses, so it made sense to do this,” he said. “This is something close to my family’s heart. We wanted to get involved in a program to give back and help kids. … The first annual event was small — it was held in a little field — and it’s grown every year, and we were fortunate to have Mr. Bergeron so graciously host the event.”
Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida, Inc. was founded in 1982 by Soroptimist International of Boca Raton and the Kiwanis Club of Boca Raton.
The organization began as a community project of the Soroptimist women. What was first thought as ‘too physical’ for a group of women, soon developed into a fully functioning program with the help of the Kiwanis Club of Boca and several other members of the local community. The program began serving 6 special needs children with 6 borrowed horses in a public field in Palm Beach County.
Beginning as Horses and the Handicapped of South Palm Beach County in 1982, the organization and its stewards have remained vigilant to the ever-changing special needs community and societal changes.
Today, the organization has grown to serve over 118 children and adults with special needs through 4 programs, including: Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, Equine-Facilitated Learning and Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy, which includes a Wounded Warrior Program.
Equine-Assisted Therapies owns 11 horses and, oversees 2.5 acres of land, a covered arena and a 12 stall barn. The organization will continue to grow in the future with an extra 3 acres of land from Broward County Parks and Recreation.
By looking back, we are proud to move forward, envisioning a place where abilities are strengthened, where activities lead to self-confidence, and each person can experience life without limits.
For more information and how you can help please visit http://equineatsf.org/