A Night on the Farm
On October 31, Horseplay Farms will host a night of music, food and fun to benefit Our Heroes, Inc.
When we see a man or woman in uniform, we often say “Thank you for your service,” and I’m sure they appreciate the thought. But on Saturday, October 31, we will have an opportunity to thank them in a much more meaningful way by coming to an event sponsored by Our Heroes, Inc., a nonprofit organization at Horseplay Farms in Bolivia.
Our Heroes, Inc.’s mission is “to improve the quality of life for military veterans, first responders and those with special needs through the use of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).” People dealing with mental and physical challenges report that just being around horses, petting them, grooming them and riding them with a professionally trained riding assistant reduces anxiety and promotes overall well-being.
According to Ruth Jenkins, founder and CEO of Our Heroes, Inc. and LTC U.S. Army (ret.) Kathy Roth, programs manager, their therapy team is made up of nine horses. Many of the horses are abuse survivors and need various medications and health supplements as well as veterinary care to continue to serve war heroes and physically and emotionally challenged children and adults. That takes a lot of money. So, Our Heroes, Inc. is sponsoring a very special evening for anyone who loves good food, good music and a chance to pay tribute to our heroes.
From 4 to 8 pm on October 31, Horseplay Farms will have Mike’s Garage Band playing all the old favorites from the ’50s and ’60s. There will be an old-fashioned Southern pig pickin’ with all the trimmings – cole slaw, hush puppies, beans and cornbread. Each adult ticket holder will get a free chit to have a choice of a glass of wine or a beer. There will also be a special equine demonstration in the ring. And that’s not all. Trigger, a palomino, will parade around the grounds, carrying the flag and accompanied by Cowboy, a horse with a very special story, who will wear his signature flag blanket.
Cowboy tells his story best in a letter ghostwritten for him. Here’s is an excerpt:
“My former human was a young Army soldier severely wounded in Afghanistan, so I personally know how difficult this line of work is on the person serving and their families. We also work with at-risk youth and trauma victims and those facing significant life challenges. Folks seem to really connect with me on the farm. I think I feel more trustworthy than humans, I’m better equipped to sense and mirror their emotions. My human therapy partner has fancy credentials and years of counseling experience, but this stuff just comes natural to me and the horses I work with. Together, we make a very powerful team. I love my job as a therapy horse and I know I’ve made a positive difference in the lives of others.” … “By allowing me to fulfill my purpose, I help hurting humans to recognize and fulfill theirs.”
Kyle Bartee, the mother of this this young soldier (and presumably the ghostwriter for his letter), donated his horse to Our Heroes, Inc. in 2017.
All during the evening there will also be a silent auction going on with some spectacular offerings, such as a framed, signed, limited-edition watercolor by Darryl Trott; signed copies of Tommy Harrelson’s book on Southport’s famous artist, Art Newton; two round trip tickets on Southwest Airlines to any destination in the continental United States.
All COVID-19 precautions will be taken at the event, and on a 60-acre farm, social distancing will clearly not be an issue.
Want to go?
When: Saturday, October 31, 3 to 8 pm (Mike’s Garage Band, 4 to 8 pm)
Where: Horseplay Farms, 1757 Clemmons Road, SE, Bolivia
Purpose: To provide much-needed funds for the care of therapy horses for veterans’ programs
Cost: $50 per person. Tickets will be available at the event, or for information on advanced ticket sales, visit their website at ourheroesinc.org or their Facebook page at facebook.com/ourheroesathorseplayfarms/