Letter: HorsePower Therapeutic Riding Big Bowling Fundraiser a huge success

HorsePower Therapeutic Riding held our second annual Big Bowling Fundraiser at St. Charles Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 18. Hundreds of supporters with their families and friends enjoyed bowling, pizza, a silent auction, face-painting, cupcakes, and an exciting 50/50 raffle. Both sessions of bowling were completely sold out. The gathering of the HorsePower family of supporters was as much fun as it was highly beneficial to the continuing operations of our Equine Therapy program. In every way, HP shined that Saturday. It was a day to celebrate friendships, award our students with a trophy ceremony, connect with community supporters, and raise funds to further our mission.

All of us at HorsePower Therapeutic Riding are amazed and humbled by the outpouring of community support for our program. Together, we far exceeded our goal, raising over $22,000. Total sales for our 50/50 raffle were $9,350, and our lucky first-place winner, Roger Fronek, was presented with a check for $4,675. Bob Ushman won the second-place prize of an iPad Mini. The grandmother of one of our students (who wishes to keep her name private) won the 3rd place prize: a Kindle Fire. The biggest winner of the day was HorsePower with the support generated for the program through the outpouring of kindness and generous donations.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to provide equipment and scholarships for the students who benefit from our therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving programs. As a 501c3 non-profit, our dream to “turn no student away for inability to pay” is secure. HorsePower serves approximately 35 adults and children with physical, cognitive, developmental and emotional disabilities on a weekly basis. We could not accomplish our mission without your strong financial support and the dedication of over 80 community volunteers who teach, lead horses, sidewalk, and assist in support and administrative functions.

Special thanks to Elburn Police Chief Steve Smith and the Illinois Council of Police for sponsoring our 50/50 raffle. St Charles Bowl hosted the event and Pizza Hut in St. Charles delivered hot and delicious pizza for us. We would also like to thank a few volunteers who went over and above to make the event a success. Eric Kroehnert ensured the success of the raffle and sold the most raffle tickets (187). Jenn Brown coordinated an amazing silent auction. Cheri Gilson created a beautiful calendar that was well supported by corporate sponsors. Kris Dunteman coordinated a gorgeous cupcake table that was enjoyed by all. We also want to thank Arlene Hughes for donating her tremendous face-painting talents. Lastly, Meredith Milz worked for months creating blue and white rubber band bracelets that she sold at the event. Her bracelets raised $122 for HP in an effort to help the program that helps her sister, Bekah.

You did an amazing job, everyone. HP owes each and every one of you a huge debt of gratitude for making our event the huge success that it was. HorsePower is your program. Together we can continue to harness the healing power of the horse in a way that is both unique and effective for these adults and kids who make tremendous strides with their equine partners. Good work. I wish to extend a sincere thank you from all of us at HorsePower.

John Cain
Chairman, HorsePower Board of Directors