An Oxford organization that helps adults and children enjoy horseback riding - regardless of their physical, mental, financial or emotional impairments, such as autism - will hold a fundraiser on Wednesday, June 20, at the Inn at Villa Bianca, 312 Roosevelt Drive, in Seymour.
The event will raise money and awareness for , a state-certified nonprofit organization whose organizers live in Oxford and Bethany.
TV personality Scot Haney of WFSB Channel 3 will emcee the event. The guest speaker will be Shonda Schilling, author of "The Best Kind of Different," a book about families and their journey with autism. Her husband, former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, has also been invited to attend.
The event will be held from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. People can send a check in advance or pay at the door, but the organization needs a head count to tell management at Villa Bianca how many people to expect. There will be raffles and a silent auction, as well.
Several local and state dignitaries will be in attendence, including Oxford First Selectman George Temple and State Rep. David K. Labriola, R-Oxford. Senate candidate Linda McMahon is also expected to be there. And Gov. Dannel Malloy has also been invited.
For more information, contact Peg Freeman at (203) 231-5078 or email her at email@example.com. Checks can be made payable to Freedom Rides and can be sent to 145 Chestnut Tree Hill Road, Oxford.
About Freedom Rides
The mission of Freedom Rides, according to its website, is as follows: to avail children and adults the ability to experience the joy of horseback riding regardless of their physical, mental, financial or emotional impairments.
- The riders and students are managed by professional and experienced trainers, and guiders, to insure safety is considered above all else.
- These riding programs bring children with special needs and adults together with horses in a world where some disabilities or disadvantages can fade away, if only for a small duration of time. Self esteem can be built, fears can be put aside, and individual confidence can be raised. Many times our programs can allow control to those who do not possess the ability to control in various manners.
- Physical benefits allow our riders to stretch and strengthen muscle tone. The rhythm of the horse often times helps to relax the body and improve balance and coordination. Horses and riders often develop a relationship with the riders that is special and many times life long.
- Many times an individual may need to lead up to the ride by attending clinics that are designed to familiarize the individuals with the horse, especially if this is a first experience. This can be achieved through frequent visits, while learning to groom, care and develop a relationship with the animal in a safe environment.