The Fall skies are settling in on us like a mother chicken settles in on her brood. The evening begins earlier, making me look for my tea cup and a warm sweater. The days are still beautiful blue, with green leaves dominating the skyline, but the yellows and oranges are creeping in like an uninvited guest. Someone we like, but wish didn’t show up just yet. But here she is, Autumn- bringing school, cooler temperatures and rain. Yes, RAIN.
But this year, we have our long-awaited covered arena!! Our celebration was COSMIC!! It included many of the kids and families who come to the ranch and it was SO wonderful to see the beaming faces of the children who are our Raven Rock Family. Many shared a secret with me- they are “going to learn how to canter in the new arena!” And I think they will, indeed ;). There are so many, many people to thank—
- John Dammarell, and all of Liberty Road Foundation, for their tremendous financial support
- Buchan Homes, who donated the materials and labor of the gorgeous roof of the structure
- Tri Power Construction, who charged us only the cost of their labor
- Dunn Lumber, who gave us lumber at cost
- Cadman, who gave us an amazing price on gravel and other materials needed for the groundwork
- Doug Carl and Bruce Bailey, and their company, Eastlake Utilities, without whom we may have never gotten through the whole permitting process and all of the amazing groundwork they did as our foundation
- Bill Rus, who worked through a serious injury to make sure our building was painted in time for the celebration
- Daly’s Paint, who donated a portion of the paint
- Well Grounded Electric Company, who is still working in-between jobs to finish the lighting in the Observation Room
- Zorko Electric, who did the electric inside the arena
- Liz and Michael Thornton, who bought ALL of the arena lights
- Puget Sound Security, for their faithful financial support
- Jayne Boker, our wonderful Board member and her family, who always come through with beautiful decorations, flowers, food and hospitality
- Elsa Sinclair, Cleo and Myrnah, who gave a remarkable presentation all about relationship that was magical to watch
- Ed McDowell, our dear Emcee, who gives selflessly to so many
- Bonnie DeCaro-Monahan, our talented event coordinator
This thank you that was presented to Tim and me by the parents and kids, really belongs to EVERYONE who has donated, worked and supported the Dream come true that is this arena. Please accept my deepest, heart-felt thanks to all of you. Visit our Face Book page to see 90 pictures of the event that will warm your heart:)
Though our annual fundraiser did not bring in the money we need to complete the arena, it was so valuable to have our families take ownership of the space. It truly belongs to all of them.
Because we are still about $32,000 short- $15,000 in current bills for work that has already been done, $17,000 to finish the Parent Observation Room, we are selling bricks once again. For any of you who came to the BBQ, you know the bricks turned out great! Many have asked me if they can buy one for a beloved family member, the four-footed or two-footed kind, or for themselves. For anyone interested in this offer, you can click here https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=74408 No more than 3 lines of copy, please.
Perhaps I should explain why the arena is so important to the kids and families. It gives us the ability to work in all kinds of weather, and in the early darkness that befalls the Pacific Northwest in the wintertime. It provides a place out of the weather where our parents can stay connected to their child and stay warm and dry. But greater than all of this is the result that I did not see coming. I have seen the kids’ faces soften, as people who are more comfortable in their own skin. They are sitting taller in the saddle, walking taller with an air of confidence and self-esteem. They have an attitude that speaks of self-worth and feeling valuable. Most of our kids do not feel worthy or valuable when they come to our ranch. It is the work we do to help them realize how much they are loved and valued. But when complete strangers- people like all of you reading this report- care enough about them to build a beautiful, new place just so they can be with the horses that they come to love so much, it speaks so clearly to them without any words. I find that the strongest messages are often wordless. It is a whole community of people coming around them to scream, “Hooray for YOU! You are awesome!
You can do anything you put your mind to! Dream, Believe Achieve!” This arena is so, so much more than a space to stay dry. It is a space to come alive.
September was very busy with a very successful Facilitator Training Program completed by the HEAL trainers, Leigh Shambo, Kristin Fernald and me, a trainer –in-training:). Our group was comprised of 4 talented and skilled clinicians. I think they all deserve a standing ovation!
I sincerely hope and pray that all of you can feel ownership of Raven Rock Ranch and the miraculous work that happens here on a daily basis. Lives are absolutely changed for the better and we are all helping to build a better world to live in.