Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tis The Season To Give Back Through ReaganRydes.Org!!

I recently received an email from our friend, horsewoman and Paralympic groom extraordinaire, Alex Philpin, regarding a very impressive young lady who has developed a foundation to help other children discover the joy of riding.  Through this child's efforts, she has started the foundation,, which raises funds for children to attend their local Wisconsin based YMCA summer camp.
Riding and establishing a connection with horses goes beyond the barn.  As all equestrians know, the privilege of riding and being connected to horses ingrains in all of us a sense of responsibility, goal setting, humility, compassion and trust.  These lessons for children can last a lifetime, helping them  move beyond fear, learning to trust and take risks, all while enjoying the beauty of horses and ultimately a sense of accomplishment.  This experience for children is priceless.

Alex is Reagan's riding instructor, and while she was here visiting last week at Blue Hill Farm, Missy and I ran in the second of Alex's 3 races to help raise money for this fabulous foundation.  It was an absolutely freezing day, but we had such fun and enjoyed a well deserved warm breakfast after our completion!!!

Missy, Alex & Lisa pre-5K race in NJ!
Alex and Reagan ran in the 3rd leg of her race series back in Wisconsin this past weekend, and I'm so inspired by this little equestrian who has set a goal to raise $50,000 to help other kids in need.  Please check out this letter below from Alex, and go to to buy merchandise for Christmas, which will in turn raise funds for this amazing cause!!!

Reagan & Alex
Hi All,

As many of you know via Facebook or previous emails, I set a personal challenge at the beginning of November, to run three 5K races in a 2 week period. I am happy to report that I reached my goal this morning, completing the Cedarburg Santa Dash.

I am also happy to report that due to the generosity of many of you, to date, "we" have raised approximately $180.00 for Reagan Rides.

For those of you not familiar with Reagan Rydes, it is a non profit organization created by a young riding student of mine, Reagan Romano. Reagan is a 10 year old with a huge philanthropic heart who's goal is to raise $50,000 through donations and the sale of merchandise to give less fortunate kids the gift of going to summer camp for a week.

During my 10 year tenure at the YMCA, I personally witnessed how 1 week of summer camp can totally change a kids outlook on life through building self confidence; creating life long friendships and introducing children to the joy of the great outdoors, some of whom have never been away from the inner city.

For many kids, a week at summer camp is the norm; for some however, it's a once in a lifetime experience that can truly carry them through many of the hardships they have to endure on a daily basis due to poverty, family problems or family illness. If I had not seen the profound impact camp can have on a child with my own eyes, you would not be receiving this email today!

Reagan is fortunate enough to be able to go to camp each summer, however, her dream is that as many kids as possible get to share in the experience that she loves so much. Prior to launching her website in November, Reagan, without the help of her parents, raised approximately $4,000 towards Camp Minikani's Annual Campaign by writing letters to friends and family throughout the US as well as making personal asks.

It is remarkable to me that as an 8 year old, when I asked Reagan what she wanted for Christmas, she replied "I don't need anything, I just want to help less fortunate kids than me go to Camp Minikani instead."

So, I am asking that you consider making a donation of any amount to Reagan Rydes. It doesn't matter if you choose to make a direct gift or purchase some of the cute apparel that is for sale on the website - 100% of your donation will go towards scholarships. Your gift is also fully tax deductible.

Reagan joined me to run my 3rd 5k this morning and helped keep me inspired during the last couple of hills! It is my hope that we can raise enough money through "Turkey Trot" donations to pay for at least one kid to go to summer camp for a week in 2015.

A week of Day Camp is $255.00 per week (only another $75.00 to reach goal)
A week of overnight camp is $735.00 per week ($555.00 to reach goal)

The "Turkey Trot $5.00 for a $5K" will close at midnight on December 25th; of course, Reagan's website will remain "open for business" for many years to come.

To make direct donations, please follow this link:
Turkey Trot for Reagan Rydes and Camp Minikani | Reagan Rydes
While you are at Reagan Rydes please take the time to read Reagan’s story and browse the online store - Great holiday gifts for all to be found at

I am unable to accept donations personally, however, if you know the Romano's, you can also make a donation directly to Rebecca or Frank.  I am so proud of this young lady and all of her philanthropic efforts.

Thank you and have a Blessed Christmas and joyful holiday season,

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