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By Susan R. Brouwer Special to the Lincoln News Messenger

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Ride To Walk is a therapeutic horseback-riding program founded by Dr. Kristine Corn in 1985. Its mission is to enhance the lives of children and young adults with neurological disabilities by providing innovative horseback-riding activities that are recreational in nature and adapted to the individual’s needs and disabilities. The nonprofit Ride To Walk serves children with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, attention-deficit disorder, head trauma and sensory processing challenges. The first centers for therapeutic riding in North America began operation in the 1960s. Ride To Walk began in 1985 with one pony named Freckles and four riders. Today, their numbers have increased dramatically and they have our own riding facility outside of Lincoln with stables and a covered arena. Our inaugural Festival of Trees was Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 at the Ride To Walk property in Lincoln. The event had great attendance, with Friday night being the most popular. Guests enjoyed a Sweet Shoppe, Holiday Boutique, Santa Shop and numerous vendors. The talented cast of Just Believe Performers directed by Jennifer Bortz provided professional and exciting entertainment for all ages. The main focus of the event was a beautiful display of Christmas Trees decorated by local groups and families, which were sold at silent auction. The most popular place was in the wagon being pulled by Ride To Walk’s draft horse, Ranger, and the wagon pulled by the American Cream draft team. Professional pictures of guests on the wagon were graciously taken and edited by Henry Inhoffer of Real World Imaging. Cowboy Santa rode his Paint Horse, Dance. Many children and adults had their pictures taken by very generous and talented photographer Dorothy Dimick. Ride To Walk thanks business owners, community members, Ride To Walk families and volunteers for their help in making Festival of Trees a success. Many area businesses provided services and goods, with Panera Bread of Lincoln donating their wonderful breads and pastries to our Sweet Shoppe and Starbucks providing 20-plus volunteers that Saturday. A special thank you to Rob McDonald for being the ultimate go-to man for pick-ups, deliveries and everything in between! Ride To Walk provides Equine Therapy to 77 children with disabilities in Yuba, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento and Sutter counties. The organization depends on donations and help from community members. If you would be interested in helping financially or volunteering, please call 434-0693, e-mail ridetowalk@sbcglobal.net or visit us online at www.ridetowalk.org. Susan R. Brouwer is Ride To Walk’s assistant director.