Fall EASI ride coming up Saturday
by Jennifer Cohron
Oct 11, 2012 | 1668 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A poker run will be held this weekend to benefit Equines Assisting Special Individuals, a local therapeutic riding program.

Registration begins Saturday at 10 a.m. at Greenhorn Saloon in Jasper. Stops for the ride are the Elk’s Lodge, Handley’s Western Wear, Harrison’s and Sayre Bar and Grill.

The final card must be turned in at Greenhorn Saloon by 4 p.m.

The ride will also include food, door prizes and an auction.

Any vehicle that is street legal is eligible to particpate.

Since 2008, an EASI Ride has been held each year in the spring and again in the fall.

More than $30,000 was raised for the program during the April ride.

Ride organizer Melissa Akins recalls that EASI volunteers such as herself were buying horsefeed with their own money when the first ride was held.

Today, the program has not only increased in financial stability but in its services as well.

“The number of children coming out has actually doubled in the past year,” Akins said.

A portion of the proceeds from each ride is set aside toward the purchase of a covered arena so that EASI classes will not have to be canceled due to rain.

Local church sponsors stall at EASI

On Sunday, Sept. 16, members from Hunter’s Chapel Holy Church of Christ visited the Equines Assisting Special Individuals center to present a check sponsoring stall 8.

The church’s Vacation Bible School class adopted EASI as their fundraising project this year.

“We were so thankful as one of their members is very dear to our center. Mason Hempling will be honored through this sponsorship,” said executive director Melissa Searcy.

Mason is the son of Robert and Stephanie Hempling, who were instrumental in organizing the VBS class and the fundraiser. Stall 8 will have a plaque installed with Mason’s name on it. The plaque is a lifetime sponsorship.

According to Searcy, all of the stalls at EASI have now been sponsored and only two of horses are without annual sponsorship.

“As our program has grown tremendously over this past year, so have our needs. These sponsorships allow our agency to provide quality, safe and effective therapeutic riding lessons and un-mounted activities,” Searcy said. “EASI is honored that the members of Hunter’s Chapel care so deeply about our program.”

— Special to the Eagle