This donation, along with a $100,000 from the Carpenter Foundation and money gathered through fund raisers and the private sector will allow the non-profit to build their long awaited dream.
Dream Riders offers therapeutic riding experiences to mentally and physically challenged children and adults. The organization has been going strong since its induction in 2004 when the group worked in a field, with a few volunteers and a few donated horses. The organization now owns six of the horses they use and two acres with a possibility of two more from the kind hearted family of the late Helen Wilhelm.
The property the arena will be built on was donated by the Wilhelm family in December 2010 and is located off Cablevision Road, which is off the old Lewisburg Road (Hwy. 431 North). The land is nestled in a tree line at the end of a quite little country road, perfect for the Dream Riders arena. “This is the best place and will be so good for the horses,” said Sharp adding, “This is a huge accomplishment for an organization as small as we are and with the limited resources we have. We are very excited about this project, which we have been trying to get going for years now,” said Sharp who is one of the Dream Rider’s founders.
Dream Riders thought they had a chance to build their arena in 2009 after approaching the Logan County Fiscal Court, who pledged $200,000 towards the project. At that time the Logan County Extension Board was willing to partner with the non-profit. The board offered property to build the arena beside the extension service on the 68-80 Bypass and also offered to foot the monthly costs associated including utilities and maintenance costs. The board wanted use of the building in return and wanted to be in charge of scheduling events which would have included cattle shows, possible horse shows and other community events.
Trouble became apparent almost immediately as meetings between the two organizations became heated and scheduling differences put an end to the prospective partnership.
When Dream Riders moved on, unfortunately the county’s $200,000 donation of taxpayer’s money did not and stayed with the Extension Board who decided to keep the funds and proceed with its own plan of an arena, which is to be built in the same location once offered to the Dream Riders.
“There are no hard feelings,” said Sharp adding, “We are where we are supposed to be and we have moved on.”
The Dream Rider’s prefabricated building will hold a 100 x 200 foot arena, it will also have offices and bathrooms. Dream Riders will be responsible for the monthly costs associated with operating the arena.
“We appreciate all those who have helped us reach this point,” said Sharp. “I know we couldn’t have done it without all of you.”
Dan Moreno, general manager of Griffin Industries said, “Griffin Industries looks for worthy organizations to help and we are glad to help support Dream Riders in their efforts to build a facility for individuals with special needs.”
Sharp has been a passionate crusader of Dream Riders and has worked tirelessly trying to obtain funding for what she believes is an extremely important mission.
There is still a need for additional help, said Sharp who invited anyone who would like to be a part of the project to call her at 270-657-2175.
“We would appreciate anyone willing to help us with this project,” said Sharp adding, “Anyone with experience as an architect, plumber, electrician or with masonry are needed. This is a really good project and one ion which I believe out county can be proud of.”