Handicapped riders will be tall in the saddle this Friday Therapeutic Recreation Week observed at Farm Museum

July 08, 1992|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- Greg Prater remembers the first time he was helped up on a horse.

He remembers the thrill of actually riding and the feeling of accomplishment.

For most people, riding may not be a big deal, but for a handicapped person, getting on that horse can be an achievement.

Mr. Prater, 26, was a teen-ager when a car accident left him with moderate brain damage. A resident of the Carroll Lutheran Village Health Care Center for seven years, he works at Carroll Haven assembling and packing gift boxes for McCormick Spice Co.

Last summer, he attended the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks' Therapeutic Day activities at the Carroll County Farm Museum, where he finally got on that horse.

He's eagerly looking forward to riding again Friday, when the county observes National Therapeutic Recreation Week with activities for the handicapped from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Farm Museum.

"The event is open to the public, the farm house will be open for tours, the artisans will give demonstrations, there will be entertainment and food and more," said Barbara Gundina, therapeutic recreation supervisor.

The Therapeutic Recreation Council of the Department of Recreation and Parks provides leisure and recreational activities for the mentally and physically disabled of all ages in the county.

Ms. Gundina said the council provided services to about 200 handicapped people last year. Activities include sports, swimming, horseback riding, camps and the arts.

"We teach them the skills they need to be independent in their recreation," Ms. Gundina said. "There's a lot of education components in our program."

Friday's annual event will give the handicapped another chance to show their talents, as well as to educate the public in Therapeutic Recreation Council programs.

Participants can play bingo, take a hayride, go horseback riding, listen to stories, watch theater and dance and learn magic.

Opening ceremonies are set for 11:30 a.m. Admission for this special event is $1.

NB Information: Farm Museum, 848-7775, or Ms. Gundina, 857- 2103.

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