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Southlake Style

Annual Fall Festival Fundraiser Spreads Awareness About Equine Assisted Therapy Program

Nov 06, 2015 01:55PM ● By Kevin
Thirty-seven volunteers came out for the Annual Fall Festival Fundraiser for New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy on Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event is held mainly to raise awareness about New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy - Argyle, TX, an area nonprofit that officially launched in January 2014.

"We raise enough funds to cover the cost of the event," said Tracey Shuck, Director of Marketing and Donor Development. "For that reason, very few booths cost our guest anything. For instance, we have food for sale, a cake walk, a petting zoo, pumpkins to buy and paint a pony that cost guest a nominal amount. Christmas baskets, ornaments and wreaths are available for donations."

There were many other booths that were free. For example, there were several booths set up for a photo opportunity. One of those was themed fall and the other was a Christmas backdrop. Guests could have their pictures taken with the horses and goats as well. 

"We had a very amazing horse and rider parade where the special needs riders were able to showcase how far they have come in their therapy," Shuck said. "The adorable riders dressed in their Halloween costumes for this event."

A vision center allowed guests to see where the founders envision New Hope's expansion and growth. In addition, there were hay rides, tours of the property, apple bobbing, donut on a string races, pony rides, scarecrow knock down, pumpkin bowling, face painting, a horse showcase with their wish lists attached to their pens and a petting zoo. 

"All of this while live Music was entertaining the crowds," Shuck said. "We gained riders and volunteers through this outreach event."

About New Hope

According to its website: 
"New Hope combines the founders love of horses with the desire to help others. Though New Hope is still a relatively new organization, the founder and members of the board have extensive experience with horses, disabilities, non-profits and special needs.  The growth in the program over the past year has demonstrated the need in the local community for the services provided at New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy.

"Sharla Kershen, Founder and Chairman, of New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy, began this journey in 2011 building her long term plan.  In the fall of 2012, she traveled to Old Lyme, Connecticut, for a 13-week training program at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding where she acquired certification as a therapeutic riding instructor.  During that same period, her husband and Chairman of Operations, Dave Kershen, began development of the property that would become New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy and their home.  You can read about their adventures during that time on her blog.  

"After months of hard work developing the property, the paddocks were completed for the first three horses, the arena has been completed and New Hope officially opened for new clients in January 2014."

Information courtesy of Tracey Shuck. Photos courtesy of Avery Colleen. For more information, 
click here.