Items up for bid at the silent auction include a University of Kentucky basketball signed by coach John Calipari; McDowell Wellness Center membership; consultation for landscaping from Kings Gardens; hand-painted ostrich eggs; UK basketball tickets; a gift basket from H2O Designs and Pampered Chef; and a massage/acupuncture gift certificate. Other gift baskets and certificates also will be part of the auction.
Of the $20 admission fee, $12 goes to Hooves of Hope, if attendees participate in the wine tasting. If they bypass the wine, all $20 goes to Hooves of Hope. Tickets can be purchased that evening or in advance.
Hooves of Hope provides therapeutic riding, hippotherapy and other equine-assisted activities for children and adults with special needs.
Cunningham-Newsome owns the farm, and does the equine and volunteer side of Hooves of Hope. Lisa Dreager is the occupational therapist for the non profit, 501c3 organization. Hooves of Hope was established in summer 2007.
Hooves of Hope's clients include or have included special needs children and adults with Down's Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida and developmental delays. "Special needs" covers a whole gamut of diagnoses, Cunningham-Newsome says.
Those benefiting from what Hooves of Hope offers bond with the horses while working on the physical aspects of riding a horse. They work on endurance, balance, coordination and cognitive skills while interacting with the seven horses and one pony.
Hooves of Hope, which operates in large part on donations and serves clients in Lincoln, Garrard, Jessamine, Mercer, Boyle and Nelson counties, also cares for two retired horses and one retired pony. The animals are "very special horses," Cunningham-Newsome said, with sedate, patient dispositions. "Lisa and I go through the selection process and try them out," she noted.
Funds also go to the farrier, feed, horse health, the facilities' upkeep and the purchase of equipment. One student scholarship has been provided each year, too. Dreager added they would like to do more scholarships when the funds are available.
"The patients pay out of pocket but it would be nice if they didn't have to pay so much," Dreager said.
She added the center is staffed with volunteers, including Cunningham-Newsome and herself.
"There are so many in the community who want and need this (center). ... Word is getting out there and we're trying to keep this going," Dreager explained.
IF YOU GO
A Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Event
Presented by Hooves of Hope Equestrian Center Inc.
Hosted by Chateau du Vieux Corbeau
6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday
Old Crow Inn Farm, Stanford Road
Tickets and information: (859) 236-9513 or (859) 792-8938
Web site: www.hoovesofhopeequestriancenter.com