Douglas Elliman Saddles Up To Support Give Back For Special Equestrians

Jimmy Torano

Douglas Elliman Real Estate has saddled up with Give Back for Special Equestrians and honorary co-hosts Georgina Bloomberg and Jimmy Torano for the second year in a row to host a glamorous evening of world-class Grand Prix show jumping and philanthropy in support of riders with special needs.

The exclusive benefit will take place Saturday, March 10 during week 9 of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington to celebrate the occasion of the $384,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix.

Hosted by Scott Durkin, president and chief operating officer of Douglas Elliman; Gus Rubio, chief operating officer of Douglas Elliman’s Florida Brokerage; and Give Back for Special Equestrians co-founders Sissy DeMaria-Koehne and Dr. Heather Kuhl, the ringside gala will take place in the gallery overlooking the Grand Prix show ring and will feature a lively DJ, cocktails and dinner.

The evening’s program also includes a special guest appearance from Natalia Cercone, an extra-ability rider who will share her inspiring journey of healing. Her life experiences translate into a message of inclusion and adaptability that is impactful and life-changing to all who listen.

Proceeds raised from the gala will provide annual scholarships for therapeutic riding lessons and a renewed path toward healing and hope for children and veterans with disabilities.

“This event touches on our brand ethos of supporting Douglas Elliman’s friends, agents and clients in the equestrian arena, as well as important philanthropic efforts within the communities we serve,” Durkin said.

Jay Phillip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida Brokerage, said that the firm is pleased to partner with Give Back for Special Equestrians.

“Therapeutic horseback riding has many physical benefits for people with disabilities, like improving balance, posture and eye-hand coordination, while also helping to build self-esteem, self-confidence and self-control,” he said. “We are happy to help support children and veterans who can best benefit from this life changing therapy.”

Give Back for Special Equestrians, formerly known as Give a Buck for Special Equestrians, is a Florida-based nonprofit that provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted scholarships for disabled children and veterans throughout Florida and New York. The all-volunteer charity was founded in 2013 by Sissy DeMaria-Koehne, along with Dr. Heather Kuhl and Isabel Ernst.

“Thanks to Douglas Elliman, Give Back has made significant strides, giving back more than $100,000 in support of special equestrians,” DeMaria-Koehne said. “We are so grateful for their commitment, which enables us to continue to give more individuals living with mental, cognitive or emotional disabilities direct access to ‘horsepower’ that heals. I also want to express my gratitude to our honorary co-chairs Georgina Bloomberg and Jimmy Torano, as well as our board and media partner Sidelines Magazine.”

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