4-H therapeutic riding program kicks off spring season a day late with full session


April 15, 1996|By Lois Szymanski | Lois Szymanski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

IT'S hard to believe, but rain and that awful S word, (snow) were responsible for many closings Tuesday evening. One of the canceled programs was the first day of the spring session of Carroll County 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program.

The program, held in the spring and fall at the Agricultural Center in Westminster, will take place every Tuesday and Wednesday for eight weeks. Instead of beginning Tuesday, the first session took place Wednesday.

Here, children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities participate as equals in a world that does not always seem equal. The program provides a training center for Special Olympics athletes who compete locally and at Special Olympics World Games. More than 1,500 people have been served by the program since its inception in 1978.

Wednesday's session accommodated 24 riders, each with a desire to improve through therapeutic riding. The program can only handle 48 riders and this session, as usual, is full, with the remaining riders anticipating their first session tomorrow.

County extension agent Bob Shirley said that the program has more than 70 volunteers -- youths and adults.

Because of the waiting list, and the marked improvement of participants, the program is looking to expand. Riders in the program have demonstrated documented improvement in motor and mental skills and self-esteem, as well as competing successfully at local, regional, national and international events.

The board of directors for the program, as well as members at large, are exploring ways to raise money to turn it into a full-time operation.

If you are interested in volunteering for the program, contact Karen Scott at 848-7969. Those interested in making a donation to the operating costs or the expansion of the program may contact Mr. Shirley at 848-4611.

Students jump to win

The results of a Jump Rope for Heart fund-raising event, held at RTC Charles Carroll Elementary School on Feb. 28, have been announced. Holly Fritz, 10, was the top individual winner. She collected more than $300 in pledges for the event, in which team players jumped rope for 90 minutes to taped music.

Holly also was on the team that collected the most money, bringing in $675. The team of fourth-grade students included Mike Hines, Emily Swaggerty, Kerr Mills, Kristen Czajkowski, Sean Buenger and Brent Strevig.

Charles Carroll's physical education instructor, Kathy Little, organized the event. Volunteers raised $3,400, with $160 going to the physical education program at Charles Carroll Elementary, and the remainder going to the American Heart Association.

Each participant received a jump rope and other prizes were distributed. Holly was presented with a trophy and each team member received a medallion. Congratulations to the winners and all participants.

Fishing rodeo

Are you younger than 15 and like to fish? The fish you catch does not have to be the only prize you take home.

The 1996 Westminster Optimist Club Fishing Rodeo will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 5 at Westminster Community Pond.

Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the winners in different age categories at 4 p.m.

Bring your rods, bait, and a big smile and come out for a day of relaxation and fun.

For more information, call Henry Lysy at 635-2619.

Lois Szymanski's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 4/15/96

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