By Chris Bavender
Dust off your cowboy hats and get ready for the 19th annual Children’s TherAplay Hoe-Down. The Oct. 2 event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and is the organization’s biggest annual fundraiser.
“We are excited that we continue to see our annual support at Hoe-Down grow,” said Kathy Pelletier, Children’s TherAplay executive director. “Currently, Hoe-Down represents about 31 percent of our annual fundraising budget, which is right about where we want it to be right now.”
The event will feature a barbeque dinner, wine pull, meet and greet with therapy horses, silent and live auctions and live music by Corey Cox.
Children’s TherAplay, which offers hippotherapy services for children with special needs, opted to hold the fundraiser last year during the COVID-19 pandemic because it is an outdoor event.
“We limited attendance numbers to 200 and provided masks for guests to help improve safety. We also offered an online component for people who were unable to attend in person,” Pelletier said. “Everyone was so generous, and it ended up being our highest fundraising total at a Hoe-Down to date. We were so grateful to experience how supportive the community was to our mission and all the struggles our families had endured last year.”
Pelletier said Children’s TherAplay has grown and developed during the last 20 years because of the “sacrifices of a lot of donors and volunteers, the trust of a lot of families, and the commitment of a lot of staff and volunteer leaders.”
“It is humbling to see the place we are now as a mission, and exciting to think about all the incredible life-changing moments that lie ahead,” she said.
Hoe-Down is an opportunity for the organization to say “thank you” to the community that supports it, Pelletier said.
“And also spend time telling the incredible stories that unfold inside our walls. Every person who makes a donation or volunteers time to our mission affects our ability to change a child’s life,” she said. “So, we carefully craft a program that helps articulate that impact in stories, videos and testimonials from families. It is very moving for everyone who attends, and for our staff to feel the love and support from the community really fortifies our resolve to do the hard work it takes to make those life-changing moments a reality.”
For more or to buy tickets, visit childrenstheraplay.org.