WESTPORT, CT – May 10, 2010 – The EQUUS Foundation received a $25,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation to support its mission to educate the public about horses; provide financial support through the award of grants; offer insight on management and financial practices of the charities through a thorough review of their operations; and provide a network of interested individuals for volunteer recruitment.
“We are so grateful to Newman’s Own Foundation for their generosity, especially now in these difficult times for charities,” said Jenny Belknap, EQUUS Board Chairman. “This grant will help us build a more sustainable environment for horses and for the people whose lives they are benefiting, and enhance the ability of charities across America focused on equestrian and horse-related issues to accomplish their missions. What a majority of the general public is not aware of is in providing horses with homes and useful lives, people benefit, especially children.”
The EQUUS Foundation is making a difference in the lives of thousands of horses and people across America. Grants were awarded in 22 states in 2009 in three mission areas: charities that advance the equestrian sport, charities that promote horse health and welfare, and charities that involve horses in providing services to the public.
Just one of the over 50 programs currently funded by The EQUUS Foundation is a therapeutic riding program started in 2008 for autistic children at the Giant Steps School in Southport, Connecticut. The Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, Connecticut, generously donates the facilities and horses for the weekly program of forty-five minute lessons. Horses are also donated by the Bridgeport Police Mounted Unit.
“Even though forty-five minutes might not seem like a significant amount of time, what transpires in that time can be incredible!” said Susan Weber, the program’s certified therapeutic riding instructor. The very first year of the program, one of the students was a teenage boy who was described by his teachers and therapists as very angry and frustrated. He was also non-verbal and didn’t make eye contact. They all hoped that this young man would benefit from riding. The rhythmic motion of a horse can calm the mind and soothe the senses. Therapeutic riding is emerging as a primary therapy for autism.”
“The problem was actually getting him ON a horse. He was determined not to get in that saddle”, Susan explained. “How do we convince him that riding is a good thing?”
“Well, after thirty minutes of the instructor getting on and off the horse, the aide getting on and off the horse, and our other volunteers getting on and off the horse, this young man swung his leg over the saddle and got on! And within two minutes he transformed from a belligerent and stubborn boy to a calm and tranquil rider, humming and moving in sync with his equine partner.”
“The following week, not only was he the first one up on the mounting block, he was the only rider who didn’t use a hand-hold or grip the saddle for security! If you come by while the program is running – you’ll recognize him – he’s the young man with the big smile on his face!”
ABOUT THE EQUUS FOUNDATION, INC.
The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., established in August 2002, as a 501(c)(3) national charitable foundation, seeks to raise public awareness of the value of the horse in society through education and the awarding of grants to charities that use the horse to benefit the public, promote the health and welfare of horses, and elevate the equestrian sport as a whole.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, which is responsible for the selection of the grant recipients. The Board includes: Jenny Belknap Kees, Chairman, Catherine Herman, Vice Chairman, David T. Goodwin, Secretary/Treasurer, Lynn Coakley, President, David Distler, Gray Fadden, Richard Mitchell DVM, Clea Newman Soderlund, and Visse Wedell.
Thanks to the generosity of its donors, The EQUUS Foundation helps thousands of people and horses each year. Over $1.3 million in grants have been awarded since the first awards in 2003. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.equusfoundation.org.
ABOUT NEWMAN’S OWN FOUNDATION
Paul Newman was committed to helping make the world a better place. To carry on his philanthropic legacy, Newman’s Own Foundation donates all net royalties and profits after taxes from the sale of Newman’s Own products to charity. To date, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $295 million to thousands of charities around the world. For more information, visit www.newmansownfoundation.org.
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