Of Pasadena and DIANA STUERMER of...


September 26, 1993

GLORIA ATKINSON of Pasadena and DIANA STUERMER of Annapolis are volunteers with the Therapeutic Riding Program at the Andover Equestrian Center in Linthicum, ensuring riders' safety and helping them mount and dismount.

Volunteers' comments: "I feel so selfish in a way, the good feeling I get from doing this work," said Ms. Atkinson, who has been with the program since last spring. "To see the delight the children get . . . the smiles on their faces, it's so rewarding.

"It really helps to build the kids' self-esteem," said Ms. Stuermer, who has been with the program for 3 1/2 years. "A lot of the kids who come are a bit nervous at first, but when they see they can do this, it really builds their confidence.

"I've been riding all my life, and this gives me a chance to get out and do something I enjoy as well," she said. "The staff and kids are wonderful."

About the volunteers: Ms. Atkinson, formerly of Glen Burnie, is an usher and member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Glen Burnie. She works as an assistant office manager for Midas Muffler. Ms. Stuermer has been a teacher's assistant at Harbor School in Annapolis for more than three years.

About the program: The Therapeutic Riding Program, for the mentally and physically disabled, is supported by the county Department of Recreation and Parks. To volunteer, call 280-0577

or 222-3554.

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