The 18th annual Heart of the West, to benefit Carousel Therapeutic Riding Ranch, will be held Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Agua Dulce Airport.
The nonprofit was founded 17 years ago in July by Denise Redmond, Carousel Ranch executive director and Becky Graham, Carousel Ranch program director.
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The program offers equestrian therapy that combines vaulting (gymnastics on a moving horse) and therapeutic riding (both English and Western), individualized in a goal orientated program for each special needs child, said Redmond.
“Our first generation of Carousel students have become adults,” said Redmond. “One of first students is now married and living in Rhode Island and another has written and produced her own play. There are more successes then we can recount.”
This will be the fifth year Heart of the West will be held at the airport.
“We are so grateful for the support of the owners and staff of Agua Dulce Airport for giving our event a home,” Redmond said.
Heart of the West is the major fundraiser for Carousel Ranch which currently serves 85 clients a week. Carousel Ranch is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing developmental therapeutic and recreational programs for disabled and disadvantaged children through horses.
The event, presented by the Princess Cruises Community Foundation, will offer a children’s riding demonstration, live and silent auctions, dinner catered by Salt Creek Grille Catering, casino games and dancing.
“It should be a fun evening,” said Redmond. “We have some really unique items in our live auction this year.”
In addition to the 15-day Hawaiian Princess Cruise, Redmond said she believes Carousel Ranch is the first nonprofit to receive a “fundamentals” dog training course courtesy of Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer.”
“I understand this is a rare auction item,” said Redmond. She said the five-day “fundamental” course is worth nearly $6,000.
“People come from all over the world to train with Cesar Millan,” said Redmond. “We are so excited to have this course donated to us.”
The live auction will feature a variety of trips and other valuable items. The silent auction will feature nearly 250 auction baskets, said Redmond.
“Last year was one of our most successful events in recent years,” she said. “I am hopeful that we can duplicate that again this year.”
One of the accomplishments of Carousel Ranch in the past year was the completion of the Ranch’s covered arena. A capital campaign raised $500,000 to construct the arena which allows clients to receive lessons “rain or shine.”
“We’re excited to share the news that our covered arena has been built and student and instructors are using it now. It shows that what people donate to Carousel Ranch does make a direct difference to our program,” Redmond said.
Among future program improvements at Carousel Ranch is a new veteran’s program that was recently funded by the city of Santa Clarita.
“We have some exciting new things we are doing and we’re excited to show everyone what their donations have helped us accomplish,” Redmond said.
For more information about Heart of the West, to donate to Carousel Ranch or to learn about the programs or volunteer opportunities visit www.carouselranch.org, call 661-268-8010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Heart of the West, 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, Agua Dulce Airport, 33638 Agua Dulce Canyon Road, Agua Dulce, CA 91390.
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Source: Santa Clarita News