When I Ride a Horse, Nobody Sees My Disability

We are grateful to our amazing community for helping to make the 2019 Giddyup Gala such a phenomenal event. It was great to see so many friends, old and new, and to see the outpouring of love and support for our programs and our clients. It was truly a night to remember!

We are proud to announce that our Pony Up Paddle Raise was a huge success. Along with the matching funds provided by Cornerstone Marble & Tile, and Ashley Hayden, the pure donations given at that time totaled $134,850! Yes, we made the full $35,000 match!

The grand total amount raised, including silent auction, live auction, and Golden Ticket Raffle, for the night of the 2019 Giddyup Gala was $180,940!

Ticket sales and sponsors covered event costs so every dollar raised during the evening will go to supporting Forward Stride’s incredible programming. These programs have affected people in amazing ways, and we were fortunate to have two wonderful speakers share their story.

Guest speakers Helena Lulay and her daughter Jodie shared the profound impact Forward Stride has had on their family’s lives. Helena described how important riding had been for her son Joe and its many benefits for both Joe and Jodie. Jodie shared her own experience of acceptance and joy in Forward Stride’s program.

“When I ride a horse, nobody sees my disability.” – Jodie Lulay

Our inclusive programs give over 250 people a place to learn, grow, and heal every week. From Riding, Vaulting, and Volunteering to Rehabilitation Services, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, and Equine Facilitated Learning, our diverse programs serve a wide range of people. No one sees the full array of our programs quite like Kristin, our Volunteer Coordinator. We debuted our newest video at the Gala and now we are excited to share it with our community at large: “A Day in the Life of Kristin”!

Many thanks to everyone that helped make the night a success, whether you were a sponsor, staff member, volunteer, donor, attendee, bidder, or supporter from afar! It was a great night and we can’t wait to do it again next year. Together, we have brought our yearly fundraising total up to $455,000. This only leaves us with $45,000 to go to reach our goal of $500,000 this fiscal year. Didn’t get a chance to come to this year’s Gala but still want to donate? You can do so here.