Dear Forward Stride Community,

As 2018 draws to a close, we are struck by all of the lasting changes Forward Stride is experiencing as an organization, and I am struck by the impact all of you have had on me, both professionally and personally.

Taking on the role of Executive Director for the place I love so dearly was a stretch that left me nervous and excited. I asked for help and guidance from the community and was answered with people giving even more of their expertise, time, and financial support. I thank you for the support and love I have felt every day since that decision.

Settling into a new facility has been both a joy and a challenge. Through generous donations of time and capital, construction has continued. While we still have a long way to go, every new project completed gives the sense of permanence and excellence we have been striving to achieve for many years. I thank you all for your hard physical labor, patience with the noise, and understanding attitudes in the face of sometimes frequent changes.

While we have lost some well loved members of our equine family this year, we have also been able to enrich our herd with new members who are doing their best to fill some very big shoes. I thank you for your condolences in the rough times and your open arms when new friends and teachers arrive.

All in all, this determined community has produced our best year ever! 380 individuals have received our services through an average of 180 weekly client sessions and several large group opportunities, adding up to more than 8,300 service hours. Our volunteers have donated over 19,000 hours of their precious time. Our financial donors have contributed over $694,000, so far, ensuring our unique services continue to be available to our community.

I thank you for your dedication to our mission. Together we will continue to make lasting changes.

Sincerely,

Amber Varner
Executive Director