PLAINFIELD – Ready Set Ride Therapeutic Recreation Facility in Plainfield may need to downsize and let go of some of its 15 therapy horses if it doesn’t raise $25,000 in donations this year.
Ready Set Ride Director Lisa Afshari is looking for more donors to help cover the overhead for maintaining horses after a tough season.
“The weather wasn’t great this summer,” she said. “We encountered some medical issues this year for some of the horses.”
The sporadic, rainy weather hasn’t led to lower enrollment, but to higher veterinary bills, Afshari said.
Ready Set Ride, 13056 Essington Road in Plainfield, uses horse riding and companionship to address the special needs of terminally ill children. Parents from throughout the Joliet and Naperville areas sign up their children for therapy sessions.
Along with monetary donations, the nonprofit facility is looking for businesses, organizations and individuals to donate items such as gift cards, event passes, weekend getaways and sports apparel.
The donated items will be used for the facility’s 10th annual fundraiser auction Oct. 30. The fundraiser is held primarily to raise money for the cost of maintaining the horses during winter.
“Unfortunately, we’re in this spot every year,” Afshari said. “The horses, they’re here 24/7. They eat, and I have to take out a dumpster every other week just for the waste.”
While the facility has about 10 volunteers who work four hours a day to help take care of the horses, Afshari said state grants for projects such as fixing the facility’s fencing have been put on hold.
Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar and the village of Bolingbrook have been helpful, she said, adding that the Bolingbrook Golf Club was host to the facility’s golf outing, and another golf outing hosted by the village’s public works department is being held Sept. 23.
Afshari said donations from the Plainfield Junior Women’s Club, J. Edward Mahoney Foundation and Rotary Club of Naperville have helped, but more donations are needed.
If the $25,000 goal isn’t met, the facility may have to start moving horses to different ranches to ease up on expenses.
“That means downsizing on the number of kids we can help,” she said. “But we’re not closing down. I’m not going anywhere.”
For information, or to donate to Ready Set Ride, contact Lesley Caramusa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-603-3797.