The annual fundraiser for Stirrups n’ Strides glittered at Golden Ocala with a Goin’ for the Gold! Theme and special guests from the horse world.
It was a golden evening at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club when Stirrups ‘n Strides Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. hosted its Goin’ for the Gold! gala on December 8th. The elegant ballroom was filled with shimmering décor, atmospheric candlelight, delicious and tasty tidbits from the Golden Ocala catering team, and guests ready to help raise fund for the center.
The annual charity event was attended by approximately 150 guests and was filled with gold decor, festive guests and lots of glitter and shine. “It was a fun, upbeat, dressy atmosphere as guests got into the gold theme,” said Gail McDonald, Program Manager for Stirrups n’ Strides.
Moondog, led by John Stephens, played a range of tunes from easy listening to danceable songs after dinner. Guests enjoyed pre-dinner appetizers and a buffet of salad, rolls, ham and turkey, green beans, squash and zucchini, and gravy.
With “Golden Moments” that shared precious stories about horse and riders that connected in special ways, a silent auction, and door prizes, the fundraiser benefited the therapeutic riding organization that supports people with disabilities. There was even a live auction with Jacinto Vasquez, who once jockeyed the champion Ruffian Pleasure; he donated autographed historical portraits that raised $900.
Equine therapy helps riders overcome their mental and physical challenges, whether from PTSD, autism, handicaps or other health issues. Therapeutic riding provides improved balance and flexibility for riders. Additionally, it promotes psychological bonding and relationship building with both horses and humans. Riders are able to improve their self-esteem and confidence, and their interaction with the horses promotes increased attention spans.
Goin’ for the Gold! Helped raise money for Stirrups n’ Strides’ future expansion. “The funds raised will be allocated to our Striding Into the Future project, phase 3,” said McDonald. “This [money] is designated for facility completion, administrative offices, ADA compliance, grounds and excavation.”
For more information about Stirrups n’ Strides visit http://www.stirrupsnstrides.com/.
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