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Save Sept. 17 date for Boots and Scoots

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Lincoln residents should dust off their cowboy boots and get ready to cut a rug. Ride to Walk will host Boots and Scoots, its annual barbecue and barn dance fundraiser, on Sept. 17 to keep providing equine-assisted therapy to area disabled children. The nonprofit organization needs to raise $25,000, according to Ride to Walk special events coordinator Tony Ortega. “We’re hurting right now,” Ortega said. Ride to Walk was 100 percent state and federally funded two years ago, according to Ride to Walk executive director Kris Corn. “We lost half of our riders because the funding was not there,” Corn said. “Not all of the families were able to find other resources.” Ride to Walk provides horseback therapy for children with neurological disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism, according to Corn, as well as for genetic disorders including Down’s Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder. “The movement of the horse improves muscle tone and can build strength,” Corn said. “Self-esteem starts to go up, which is probably more important than any other aspect. If you have self-esteem, you can conquer all.” Corn said all of the money raised Sept. 17 goes to the equine-therapy program. “It feeds the horses, pays the staff, takes care of repairs on the ranch, provides toys and things for the kids to play with,” Corn said. One new way Ride to Walk is hoping to raise funds, aside from Boots and Scoots, is to rent out the property for events such as birthday parties, weddings and small festivals. Lincoln resident Kelly Lyons said her 10-year-old son, Christjan, has attended Ride to Walk for the past five years. Christjan has Pelazeaus Merzbacher disease, which his mother said is similar to Multiple Sclerosis. “It (therapy) fills up his upper-body strength, and once his core was built up, he would grab things better and hold his head up,” Lyons said. “He’s proud of himself. He loves the horses, too.” Doc Livingston, Ride to Walk’s therapeutic riding instructor, encourages residents to attend Boots and Scoots. “It’s for a great cause and it’s going to provide funds to keep these kids on horses,” Livingston said. “The economy is hurting these families and the only way some of the kids can ride is from the support of the community to keep the horses here.” The Lincoln News Messenger profiles a nonprofit organization every week. If you would like to see an organization featured, please call 774-7967 or e-mail stephanied@goldcountrymedia.com. Know and Go: What: Seventh annual Ride to Walk Boots and Scoots When: 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 Where: Ride to Walk, 1630 Highway 193 Cost: $35 for one ticket, $60 for two Features: Barbecue dinner, silent auction and raffle prizes, live music by Lincoln Highway Band, horse-riding demonstrations