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Sissy Demaria

            

WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL’S SECOND ANNUAL

PONY DERBY TO BENEFIT GIVE A BUCK

FOR SPECIAL EQUESTRIANS

Jump for the Children Pony Derby Fundraiser to be Held March 6th at WEF

 WELLINGTON, FL (Jan. 20, 2015) Give a Buck for Special Equestrians is kicking off the New Year with the announcement of the Winter Equestrian Festival’s Second Annual Jump for the Children Pony Derby Classic to be held March 6th.

 Young riders from across the country will saddle up for special equestrians as they compete in three $5,000 Pony Derby Classics with small, medium, and large divisions at The Stadium, 13500 South Shore Blvd. in Wellington. The Jump for the Children Pony Derby Classic benefitting Give a Buck kicks off at 8 a.m. and will be followed by a festive party where children are invited to step up and dress up and join parents to bid on a dazzling array of enticing silent auction items.

 All proceeds will benefit Give a Buck for Special Equestrians and its partner riding programs in Florida and North Carolina including: Appalachian Therapeutic Riding Center (North Carolina), Good Hope Equestrian Training Center (Miami), Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast (Vero Beach), Stable Place (Davie), Naples Equestrian Challenge and Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (West Palm Beach).

“The funds raised from the Jump for the Children Pony Derby Classic will help us provide much needed financial assistance to our partner programs,” says Sissy DeMaria, the founder of Give a Buck and event Co-Chairperson. “We are deeply grateful to David Burton for believing in horse power that heals and for supporting our event. It is a fun and meaningful way to introduce children to philanthropy and for the equine community to give back.”

Give a Buck for Special Equestrians was founded in July 2013 and is a registered nonprofit in Florida. Give a Buck accepts tax deductible donations through its Fiscal Sponsor, The Coral Gables Community Foundation, a public charity under section 501(c)3. Give a Buck raises funds by asking horse owners to give “as little as a buck or as much as they can” with each month’s board payment. Give a Buck also raises money through merchandise sales at area tack stores and at horse shows. Give a Buck’s Young Ambassadors, children and teens ages 7-17 are the backbone of the organization providing ongoing support through hands on volunteering, fundraising, “friend” raising, and drawing awareness to the charity’s mission.

To a child or adult with a physical, developmental or emotional disability, life looks a lot brighter on horseback. The power and warmth of a horse strengthens and tones muscles, improves balance, head control and coordination, builds pa­tience and self-esteem, and offers a sense of freedom and equality. Horseback riding gently and rhythmically simulates the human gait, so riders with physical disabilities improve their flexibility and muscle strength. While grooming horses helps promote a sense of calmness and well being.

For Tickets and more information, please contact Tara Bieling at (239) 200-2230.

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Sissy Demaria

 

EQUESTRIAN:

Give a Buck launches local chapter to benefit Vinceremos

By Amy Bower Doucette

Special to The Palm Beach Post

One dollar is barely enough to buy a candy bar, but Sissy DeMaria knows it only takes a dollar at a time to make a big difference in the lives of disabled or disadvantaged horseback riders. She started a nonprofit organization called Give a Buck (http://giveabuckeq.org) last spring. DeMaria, who co-owns a public relations firm in Miami, was inspired by a Realtor friend’s idea to have her clients donate a small sum to a homeless women’s shelter when closing on a home. DeMaria thought it would be simple for horse owners to donate a dollar (or more) along with their monthly stable rent to benefit local therapeutic riding programs. On Feb. 1, DeMaria started a new branch of Give a Buck in Palm Beach County to benefit Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Program (www.vinceremos.org) in Loxahatchee.

If you have the luxury of owning a horse, you pay a hefty board fee every month,” DeMaria said. I thought it would be easy to encourage people to make a small donation to therapeutic riding programs. I rallied some other horse owners at my barn and got some kids involved, and Give a Buck was born.”

DeMaria and her volunteers visit area stables and pass out stamped envelopes or pledge cards to boarders. Along with the donation program itself, DeMaria recruits Young Ambassadors to help raise awareness and encourage equestrians to donate. The ambassadors are often equestrians themselves, and many of them have ties to the therapeutic riding programs they’re helping support. Most of them juggle school, horse shows and philanthropy.

The Young Ambassadors are the key to the program, DeMaria said. We ask them to write thank you notes when we get donations. Thats one of their responsibilities. They help raise money by manning tables at the horse shows. We started Pony Express Saturdays, which are the first Saturdays of every month. We go and visit barns and talk about what we do. When you have children go to a barn with a bag of carrots, theyre very disarming. There is something charming about children who want to help disabled children and adults.”

DeMaria also started a clothing line whose proceeds benefit the Give a Buck for Special Equestrians fund. The shirts and hats she designed are now for sale at select tack stores, including Tackeria in Wellington. She hopes to expand the line to include saddle pads and boots. Selling clothing adorned with the Give a Buck logo helps get the word out about the nonprofit. DeMaria focused on Wellington during the winter show season for the same reason. Wellington is so critical to our success,” she said. We hope that people who are down here for the winter go back to their cities and want to start chapters there. We have five chapters around the state of Florida. In April, were launching a program in North Carolina. If people are passionate about their horses, then they feel good about sharing that love with people that are less fortunate. It resonates with people.”

Sissy Demaria


First Jump for Children Pony Derby set for March 7

Nadia Sorocka nsorocka@tribune.com

February 26, 2014

The ponies will get their chance to shine as the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will have its first Jump for Children Pony Derby on March 7 at The Stadium, corner of Pierson Road and South Shore Boulevard.

Children ages 7 to 17 will get the chance to compete in three $5,000 Pony Derby Classics with small, medium and large divisions and also help raise funds and awareness for local nonprofits Give A Buck for Special Equestrians, Just World International and Naples-based Friends of Foster Children of Southwest Florida.

"As parent of a young rider [daughter Hama Bieling], I have always felt it was important to teach our children the need to include philanthropy in their lives," said organizer Tara Bieling, who is the event and outreach developer with Friends of Foster Children. "With an event like this that  is exactly what we are doing."

Why did the Naples-based nonprofit that helps families and children in the foster care system want to put on an event here in Wellington?

"Naples and Wellington are very similar," she said. "But, it is really our riding roots that have been bringing us to Wellington all these years. I thought this event would be a great way to showcase the pony world and raise funds for Friends of Foster Children."

The Jump for the Children Pony Derby kicks off at 10 a.m. March 7 and will be followed by a tented gala dinner in which young riders and their families are invited to step up and dress up, and to join parents to bid on an array of child friendly and silent auction items ranging from a

trip with a veterinarian for a day to a day at Gulfstream Park to witness the behind the scenes of thoroughbred racing.

The event also will include a horseless horse show sponsored by Just World International and an equine apparel and pre-owned tack raffle by the Young Ambassadors of Give a Buck for Special Equestrians, a statewide nonprofit that raises funds and awareness for therapeutic riding programs for the disabled and benefits the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center here in Wellington.

"The funds raised from the Pony Derby will help us give these children a chance to become successful and strong adults," Bieling said.

She said that friends have helped organize the inaugural Jump for the Children Pony Derby, including David Burton who provided use of the grounds.

The events throughout the day are free and open to everyone. Tickets for the gala are $175 and may be purchased by calling 239-200-2230.

Visit FriendsOfFosterChildren.net.

Sissy Demaria

WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL’S PONY DERBY GIVES FOSTER KIDS A JUMP START

First Annual Jump for the Children Pony Derby to Benefit Friends of Foster Children

 

WELLINGTON, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2014) – On March 7, young riders from across the country will saddle up for foster children at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival’s first annual Jump for the Children Pony Derby, which will benefit Friends of Foster Children.

Children ages seven to 17 will compete in three $5,000 Pony Derby Classics with small, medium, and large divisions at The Stadium, 13500 South Shore Blvd. in Wellington. The Jump for the Children Pony Derby kicks off at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a tented gala dinner, where kids are invited to step up and dress up, and to join parents to bid on a dazzling array of kid-friendly and enticing silent auction items ranging from a trip with a veterinarian for a day to a day at Gulfstream Park to witness the behind the scenes of thoroughbred racing.

activities include a horseless horse show sponsored by Just World International and an equine apparel and pre-owned tack raffle by the Young Ambassadors of Give a Buck for Special Equestrians, a statewide nonprofit that raises funds and awareness for therapeutic riding programs for the disabled. 

The Jump for the Children Pony Derby will benefit Friends of Foster Children of Southwest Florida (FFC), whose mission is to provide abused, neglected and abandoned children in Southwest Florida with the social, educational and financial support the state does not.  A 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, FFC focuses on filling in the gaps in the state foster system. FFC's support ranges from tutoring and after-school programs to enrichment activities that nurture a child's talents and passions.

"The funds raised from the Pony Derby will help us give these children a chance to become successful and strong adults. For many children, the programs provided by FFC are their first chance to be truly cared for and loved,” says Tara Bieling, the event’s organizer and coordinator of events and community outreach for FFC. "We are profoundly grateful to David Burton for giving us the opportunity to host this Derby and Gala at the Wellington show grounds. It is a fun way for children to be introduced to philanthropy and is a great way for the equine community to give back and support these often overlooked children,” says Bieling.

FFC would like to thank our generous sponsors, including Charles Moorcroft Inc., Palm Beach Equine Clinic, ME.N.U., Back Country Farm, Peacock Ridge, Ponies & Palms Show Stable LLC, PZazz Productions Inc., Equestrian Sports Productions LLC, and many others for their support and kindness.”

For tickets and more information, please contact Tara Bieling at (239) 200-2230.

 

 

 

Sissy Demaria

‘GIVE A BUCK’ TO GIVE 

VINCEREMOS THERAPEUTIC RIDING CENTER A LEG UP

Fundraising Initiative Launches West Palm Beach Chapter Feb. 1

 

MIAMI (Jan. 30, 2014) — The term “horsepower” is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as“the power a horse exerts in pulling.” Yet for Give a Buck volunteers and its Young Ambassadors, horsepower is more than simply a unit of measurement, it is the extraordinary way horses and ponies are able to lift spirits, clear minds, exercise bodies, and offer a sense of well-being.

On February 1, Give a Buck will launch its West Palm Beach chapter to benefit Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 1982 to provide recreational and therapeutic horseback riding to those with disabilities. Vinceremos, which means “to overcome” in Latin, has helped thousands of riders conquer the challenges associated with their disabilities, empowering them with a sense of pride, accomplishment and independence. Individuals suffering from developmental delays, cerebral palsy, cognitive impairments, autism, head injury, and stroke have all benefited from Vinceremos’ programs

Give a Buck for Special Equestrians—a grassroots, fundraising initiative founded in May 2013 by four women and a sixth-grade student in Vero Beach, Fla.—has expanded rapidly throughout the state, with a chapter in Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier and Indian River counties, and now PalmBeach County. A nonprofit organization registered in the state of Florida, Give a Buck acceptsdonations through its fiscal sponsor, The Coral Gables Community Foundation. All raised funds support therapeutic riding programs that benefit children and adults with physical, developmental and/or emotional disabilities. 

“We are delighted to launch in Palm Beach County to support Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center,” said Give a Buck Founder Sissy DeMaria. “Give a Buck offers a simple way for the equine community to give back for all of the joy that horses have brought to our lives. Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, with their gentle horses, expert staff and kind-hearted volunteers, is a model program and an inspiration to our organization”

As part of the partnership, Give a Buck volunteers and members of its Young Ambassador program (children and teen volunteers between the ages of 10 and 18) will visit Wellington area stables where they will ask horse owners to “give as little as a buck, or as much as they can” with their monthly stable rental payment to support Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center. The volunteers will hand out brochures that explain the program’s mission, as well as a self-addressed and stamped envelope made out to The Coral Gables Community Foundation and earmarked toward the Give a Buck for Special Equestrians Fund for Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center. In exchange for contributions, donors may receive a custom Give a Buck polo shirt, baseball cap or Give a Buck visor.

“Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center depends on many for its success,” said Susan Guinan, Director of Development for Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center. “Our horses and ponies are the foundation for every triumph, as their intuitive recognition of their equestrian partners’ needs and abilities is remarkable. And we are consistently inspired by our volunteers, who generously share their time and efforts, the riders who help us to recognize the capabilities that exist in all of us, and our generous donors, who help ensure that the joy of horsemanship is shared.”

Located at 13300 Sixth Court N in Loxahatchee, Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center serves a wide range of clients with disabilities. Children as young as two-years old, through adults in their 70’s, regularly participate in the program for ten-week sessions of recreational or therapeutic riding, regardless of their ability to pay. Each week, 165 riders come to Vinceremos for riding and over the course of a year; Vinceremos serves approximately 500 different individuals. 

For more information about Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.vinceremos.org or call (561) 792-9900. 

For more information about Give a Buck, call (305) 608-5350 or visit giveabuckeq.org. You can also like the organization on Facebook or become a follower on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Sissy Demaria

Equestrian initiative expanding into Davie

Sissy Demaria

 “GIVE A BUCK” GIVES LEG UP FOR

SPECIAL EQUESTRIANS OF THE TREASURE COAST

Equine Enthusiasts Discover True Meaning of Horsepower

VERO BEACH, FL (June 27, 2013) — Merriam Webster’s dictionary describes horsepower as the power that a horse exerts in pulling. For a group of equine enthusiasts in Vero Beach, Fla., horsepower is not just a unit of measurement, rather the special way horses and ponies are able to lift spirits, clear minds, exercise bodies and provide a sense of well being.

Inspired by the mission of Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast, which provides therapeutic riding programs for children and adults with physical, developmental or emotional disabilities - and grateful for the joy that horses have brought to their lives - four women and a 6th- grade student, banded together to form a “grass roots” fundraising initiative called Give a Buck to benefit the local nonprofit.

The Give a Buck program, which kicks off July 1st, asks horse owners across Indian River County to “give a buck” with every month’s board payment, to support the very special mission of the therapeutic riding program and help ensure that no one is denied access to this life-changing therapy due to an inability to pay.

Give a Buck volunteers will provide boarders at stables across Vero Beach with a self-addressed stamped envelope made out to Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast, along with a brochure that explains the mission. Fellow horse owners are asked to give as little as a dollar or as much as they would like on a monthly basis when making their regular monthly board payments.

“We founded Give a Buck as a simple way for the equine community to give back for all of the joy that horses have brought to our lives,” says professional horse trainer and Give a Buck co-founder Heather McCall. “We have been blessed in our lives in so many ways and want to pay our good fortune forward.”

Riders in the Special Equestrians program who are challenged by Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Strokes, Diabetes, and other conditions affecting muscles and speech benefit from therapeutic riding programs by strengthening and toning muscles; improving balance, head control and coordination; and building patience and self-es­teem. Many of them are unable to control their arms and legs and are among scores of people in Indian River County burdened by mental, developmental, physical and emo­tional disabilities.

To a child or adult with a physical, developmental or emotional disability, life is not just sunnier on horseback. The power and warmth of a horse strengthens and tones muscles, improves balance, head control and coordination, builds pa­tience and self-esteem, and offering a sense of freedom and equality. Horseback riding gently and rhythmically simulates the human gait, so riders with physical disabilities improve their flexibility and muscle strength.

The horses and ponies in the Special Equestrians of Vero Beach program, most of which are in their 20’s, seem to understand and enjoy their roles, patiently waiting for disabled riders to be saddled up before taking them on a slow ride.

To know the sound of a horse’s whinny, the feel of a satin coat, the gaze of soulful eyes is to love and appreciate the gentle nature and curative power of these animals. We wanted to share our love for hoses and ponies with those in our community who can most benefit from their healing touch,” adds co-founder Sissy DeMaria, “Give a Buck is an effortless way for us to give and encourage others to do so.”

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“Our goal is to take this program to other communities across Florida and partner with other therapeutic riding programs where the need exists.” says, Maria Fioravante, Give a Buck Board member.

For more informa­tion about Give a Buck please call 305.608.5350 or visit giveabuckeq.org. You can also like them on Facebook.

Special Equestrians of the Treasure Coast (772) 562-7603. The Special Equestrians’ facility is located at 7280 53rd Street in Vero Beach, FL. 

 

Sissy Demaria

“GIVE A BUCK” TO GIVE LEG UP FOR

GOOD HOPE EQUESTRIAN TRAINING CENTER

Launches Miami Chapter Sept. 1

MIAMI (Sept. 1, 2013) — “The Merriam-Webster Dictionary” defines horsepower as the power a horse exerts in pulling. For Give a Buck volunteers and its Young Ambassadors, horsepower is not just a unit of measurement, but rather the special way horses and ponies are able to lift spirits, clear minds, exercise bodies and provide a sense of well-being.

A grassroots, fundraising initiative founded in Vero Beach, Florida by four women and a six grade student, Give a Buck supports therapeutic riding programs around the state that benefit children and adults with physical, developmental or emotional disabilities.

On Sept. 1, Give a Buck will launch its Miami chapter to benefit Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, the only facility in Miami-Dade County that serves as a Premier Accredited center through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), formerly known as NARHA.

Give a Buck volunteers and members of its Young Ambassador program (children and teen volunteers between the ages of 10 and 18) will visit stables across Miami-Dade County asking horse owners to “give a buck” with every month’s stable rental payment to support the very special mission of Good Hope Equestrian Training Center. The volunteers will distribute self-addressed and stamped envelopes made out to Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, along with a brochure that explains the program’s mission, imploring horse owners to give as little as a dollar or as much as they would like.

“We are delighted to launch in Miami-Dade County and support Good Hope Equestrian Training Center,” says Sissy DeMaria, Give a Buck founder.  “Give a Buck is such a simple way for the equine community to give back for all of the joy that horses have brought to our lives.”

Providing more than 400 underserved Miami residents with recreational, social, vocational and rehabilitative needs, Good Hope Equestrian Training Center is a tranquil 20-acre facility with friendly horses that offer families a chance to escape their stressful lives and benefit from the unique feelings of wellbeing. While mounted on top of the program horses the individuals' with mobility challenges make progress toward independent movement and functioning. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and non-verbal riders find their voices and ways to effectively express themselves. The equestrians work toward individualized goals, while building their self-esteem, independence and personal potential.

To a child or adult with a physical, developmental or emotional disability, life is not just sunnier on horseback. The power and warmth of a horse offers a sense of freedom and equality, while riding gently and rhythmically simulates the human gait so riders with physical disabilities improve their flexibility and muscle strength.

The horses and ponies at the Good Hope Equestrian Training Center seem to understand and enjoy their roles, patiently waiting for disabled riders to be saddled up before taking them on their therapeutic journey.

For more informa­tion about Give a Buck, call (305) 608-5350 or visit giveabuckeq.org. You can also like the organization on Facebook or become a follower on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

For more information about Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, call (305) 258-2838 or visit www.ghetc.org. The Good Hope facility is located at 22155 S.W. 147th Ave., Miami, FL 33170.

Sissy Demaria

 “GIVE A BUCK” GIVES LEG UP FOR

STABLE PLACE

Equine Enthusiasts Discover True Meaning of Horsepower

DAVIE, Fla. (Aug. 27, 2013) — “The Merriam-Webster Dictionary” defines horsepower as the power a horse exerts in pulling. For Give a Buck volunteers and its Young Ambassadors, horsepower is not just a unit of measurement, but rather the special way horses and ponies are able to lift spirits, clear minds, exercise bodies and provide a sense of wellbeing.

A grassroots, fundraising initiative founded in Vero Beach, Fla. by four women and a sixth-grade student, Give a Buck supports therapeutic equine programs around the state that benefit children and adults with various disabilities, family or couple conflicts, disorders or other life challenges.

On Sept. 1, Give a Buck will launch its Davie chapter to benefit Stable Place, a nonprofit that is dedicated to enriching and changing the lives of its clients by connecting them with the unique spirit and natural healing abilities of horses.

Give a Buck volunteers and members of its Young Ambassador program (children and teen volunteers between the ages of 10 and 18) will visit stables across Broward County to ask horse owners to “give a buck” with every month’s stable rental payment to support the very special mission of Stable Place. The volunteers will distribute self-addressed and stamped envelope made out to Stable Place, along with a brochure that explains the program’s mission imploring horse owners to give as little as a dollar or as much as they would like.

“We are delighted to launch in Broward County and support Stable Place,” says Sissy DeMaria, Give a Buck founder. “Give a Buck is such a simple way for the equine community to give back for all of the joy that horses have brought to our lives.”

Through a partnership with instructors and graduate students of Nova Southeastern University’s family therapy program, Stable Place offers equine-assisted therapies for individuals facing family or couple conflicts, intimacy issues, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders or other life challenges. The unique, experiential process with Stable Place horses, under the guidance of equine and mental health professionals, places the focus on doing, rather than talking. The horses allow participants to see what is happening in the moment, to try something different and to see the results of that change as it happens by the horses’ immediate feedback, which shows the difference new solutions can make.

 

To a child or adult with a disorder or dealing with a family conflict, life is not just sunnier on horseback. The power and warmth of a horse offers a sense of freedom and equality.

The horses and ponies in Stable Place seem to understand and enjoy their roles, and each has a unique personality that contributes richly to the organization’s work and mission.

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For more informa­tion about Give a Buck, call (305) 608-5350 or visit giveabuckeq.org. You can also like the organization on Facebook or become a follower on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

For more information about Stable Place, call (954) 790-0270 or visit www.stableplace.org. The Stable Place clinical services facility is located at 4141 S.W. 76th Ave., Davie, FL 33328.