Kerry Kadel | Arts and Entertainment Editor
In late October, I was contacted by Senior Shea Gourguechon, a Communications major for a story opportunity regarding a good cause for veterans that includes horses. This Friday, November 10th outside of Humanities, Shea along with Mia Adams, Piper Adkins, Ginny Caesar and Mary Kate Kelty is hosting a fundraiser for Therapeutic Riding Institute and their program
Warriors in Step with Horses. The event is a product of the CMM 461 Public Relations Campaigns class where students are hired by an organization to run a public relations campaign.
Shea is the media relations liaison, Mary Kate is the account manager, Mia is the research director, Ginny is the copywriting director, Piper is the Social Media Manager with Dr. Kelly Vibber is teaching the class.
Intrigued and excited about this opportunity to learn more about an organization with a good cause, I met with Shea to get a full understanding of the goal her group strives to achieve with TRI with their event, “A WISH for Veterans: Fundraiser for the Therapeutic Riding Institute.”
“Our goal is to raise $15,000 for WISH, which is specific to veterans and provides equine-assisted services to local veterans for mental, social, and emotional support. We are putting this event together, it’s going to be outside Humanities. We’re going to have two horses, there’s going to be a cow lasso game, there’s going to be food trucks–and it’ll be different ones that have never been on our campus before that we reached out to before.”
TRI is a nonprofit organization in Spring Valley, Ohio, that provides equine-assisted services to veterans and individuals with various physical and mental diagnoses. TRI’s vision is to become the premier provider of such services in the tri-state. Past fundraising efforts have been achieved through local foundation grants, corporate sponsorships and gifts from donors. Through this generous support, TRI is able to provide its services to over two hundred individuals. Additionally, TRI puts on various events throughout the year to raise funds and thank their supporters and sponsors. TRI serves families in several counties in Ohio; including Greene, Butler, Montgomery, Preble and Warren counties.
Dr. Vibber assigned TRI to the group, which was the organization they were hoping to have.
The WISH program is unique and designed to help warriors by decreasing feelings of isolation through peer support, learning self-regulation through equine interaction and communication, coming to an awareness and acceptance of emotions while developing a better sense of control through experiential activities with the herd and reduce feelings of anxiety about the past and future by learning to live in the moment.
Founded in 1973, the Therapeutic Riding Institute, Inc. is Premier Accredited Therapeutic Riding Center by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. TRI has advantages over these competitors as the only PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in the region. This certification includes benefits such as access to special scholarships and grants, increased brand equity by being recognized as a top organization for equine-assisted services, and discounts on education for instructors and conferences.
A few WISH employees will be attending the event and will be able to talk about their services. If anyone is interested reach out and talk to them, but it’s mainly to bring awareness to their organization and to celebrate Veterans Day.
The event will be held at Humanities from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10th, so stop by, meet some horses and learn about what you can do to aid in this organization’s goal to help those in need.
If you want to check out TRI and learn more about them and their WISH program, their website, social media, and their donation page are linked below.