New nonprofit’s mission is to expand therapeutic equine riding programs

07/20/2014 12:00 AM

07/18/2014 5:11 PM

The year-old nonprofit organization Give a Buck for Special Equestrians is off and running. Founded by Sissy DeMaria, the Miami-based group has a mission to expand therapeutic equine riding programs throughout Florida and North Carolina.

Through its support of Miami’s Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, Stable Place in Fort Lauderdale, Naples Equestrian Challenge, Vinceremos in Loxahatchee, and the Appalachian Therapeutic Riding Center, Give a Buck encourages horse owners to share the joy of horses with those facing difficult physical or emotional challenges.

Give a Buck also raises funds for therapy riding programs through the sale of merchandise at horse shows and tack stores. Members ask horse owners to contribute “as little as a buck, or as much as they can,” with their monthly board payment.

DeMaria recently appointed Heather Kuhl as vice president of Give a Buck for Special Equestrians.

  A licensed psychologist and certified equine assisted therapist, Kuhl specializes in psychological and psycho-educational evaluations for children and adults with developmental or academic concerns. She also addresses emotional, behavioral or social challenges.

Kuhl teaches at the Institute for the Study of Human Service, Health, and Justice at Nova Southeastern University.

Through her love of horses and psychology she has been inspired to conduct research in concussions among competitive equestrian athletes. Her reports have been published by the Equestrian Medical Safety Association, and Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach.  

  Kuhl is an equestrian with more than 30 years of riding experience. She has competed locally and nationally in the hunters and jumpers divisions with her own horses. And she has long been a believer in the power of horses to heal minds, bodies, and spirits.

“Heather has been instrumental to Give a Buck from the beginning. She is passionate about horses, and using her skills and background as a licensed psychologist to help others overcome hardships and help improve the quality of life for others,” DeMaria said.

Kuhl has certification as a mental health provider through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) and is a volunteer at Stable Place in Davie.

For more information about Give a Buck, call 305-608-5350 or visit  www.giveabuckeq.org.

HELPING WOMEN

Seven members of Soroptimist International of Homestead recently attended the Annual Southern Region Conference in Nashville, Tenn. Two were honored for their commitments to helping improve the lives of women and girls.

One of the local members, Denise Held, was installed as the Governor Elect and will serve as the Governor for this region from 2016-18. Until then, Held will work with operations of the Southern Region, which has a total of 26 clubs in five states and territories, including Puerto Rico.

Also, congratulations to member Sharon Singletary, of Homestead Job Corps Center. The Southern Region Board honored her with membership in the prestigious Laurel Society.

The Laurel Society was established in 1994 and is Soroptimist of the Americas’ recognition program for individuals supporting the Federation Programs leading to social change. Singletary has been a member of SI Homestead since 1987.

  In attendance at the conference were  President Adrienne Griffitts of Homestead Transfer & Storage; Treasurer Laurie Conner, theonlineauctionblock; Director Held, Vice President Community Bank; June Ward, Emerald Forest Tropicals Nursery; Coy Pena, Green Leaf Nursery; Patty Accursio, Capri Restaurant; and Yvette Doherty, Coldwell Banker Real Estate. 

Soroptimist is an international volunteer organization with a mission of “working to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities around the globe.” There are over 100,000 members in 120 countries and territories.

To learn more visit http://sihomestead.com/

FIRE SAFETY SESSION

All residents are encouraged to attend this important session about fire prevention.

The special luncheon program to discuss all aspects of fire safety will be hosted by New Neighbors Club of South Dade starting at 11 a.m., Aug. 13 at the Killian Palms Country Club, 9950 SW 104th St.

A member of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department will discuss how fires occur in our homes, kitchens, patios and barbeque units. It is important to be prepared.

The luncheon cost is $26. Reservations are required and the deadline is 6 p.m. Aug. 7.  Send email to  ritafosse@yahoo.com or call 305-595-0213.

  New Neighbors Club of South Dade is a nonprofit social organization open to all residents of Miami-Dade County. Members help those who are new to the area as well as longtime Miamians undergoing lifestyle changes such as empty nesters or recent retirees. For more check  http://newneighborssouthdade.webs.com/.

As part of their community outreach, the Club’s members support The WOW Center founded by parents of children with developmental disabilities. The WOW Center offers support, guidance and encouragement to adults with developmental disabilities. A donation for the Center will be requested at the luncheon.

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