Sheriff Sadie Darnell will hold a special recognition ceremony on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015, at 1 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters located at 2621 SE Hawthorne Road, Gainesville. The ceremony will be to honor therapy horse Magic from the Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses. Magic will be “taking the oath” before leaving to represent the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and all of Alachua County while attending the 34th Annual National Police Officers’ Memorial Week in Washington, D.C. in May 2015.
Magic has been scheduled to make dozens of private and group visits with children whose parent or other family members were killed in the line of duty. She will be with families for engraving of names on the Memorial Wall, attend the Honor Guard Competition and ride the subway to Washington, D.C. landmarks with children. She will even do good night “tuck ins” with children at hotels, leaving stuffed toy horses on each bed. While in Washington, D.C., Magic will also visit a children’s hospital and a veterans’ hospital.
Magic has worked with first responders across the country for many years. From the school children and first responders of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT to the tornado survivors of Moore, OK, she brings her special love where it is needed most. She has worked with law enforcement community outreach programs and visited injured members of law enforcement and their families in hospitals across the country.
Magic received a national honor last month with her induction into the United States Equestrian Federation Horse Stars Hall of Fame. She was honored as a humanitarian for “having a life changing and inspirational impact on the public.”
When Magic is not traveling, she has a one-of-a-kind partnership with the University of Florida Health Shands Rehab Hospital in Gainesville, an acute hospital for patients who have suffered strokes, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations and burns. Magic works with occupational, speech and physical therapists as part of the treatment team.
She has inspired patients in the therapy gym to reach out their arms for the first time and helped patients who are learning how to use adaptive equipment like walkers and wheelchairs. She even demonstrates rehab training stairs and ramps. Magic has inspired patients who have stood or walked for the very first time since their accidents or surgeries.
Please join us in deputizing Magic as she begins the journey to honor individuals who have been injured or killed in service to the public.
From Art Forgey, Public Information Officer for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office