In collaboration with the Village of Wellington, the Wellington Community Foundation has donated $12,000 to give 60 Wellington High School students the opportunity to participate in programs at the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center. A check presentation was made at the Tuesday, Jan. 8 meeting of the Wellington Village Council.
Vinceremos offers therapeutic riding programs, hippotherapy and equine-assisted learning. It is accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) and has been serving individuals with disabilities in central Palm Beach County for more than 35 years.
The benefits of therapeutic riding include improved balance, core strength and refined motor skills, all done in a fun, recreational setting. The lessons provide social interaction and camaraderie while riders learn equestrian skills, build self-confidence and independence.
“These types of programs fall right in line with our foundation’s mission,” said Tom Wenham, chair of the Wellington Community Foundation.
The foundation is committed to benefiting seniors, children and veterans in the Wellington community by supporting and improving their quality of life. “That is exactly what this donation will do — afford an opportunity that can greatly impact these students’ lives,” Wenham said.
He went on to share how during a visit to Vinceremos, he witnessed first-hand a young child unable to walk being lifted from his wheelchair and placed in the saddle of a horse waiting to take him around the ring. “Can you imagine the power that child felt?” Wenham asked. “That is what got to me.”
The foundation’s board of directors voted unanimously to fund the project in 2019. Foundation board members were joined by Wellington High School and Vinceremos representatives at the Jan. 8 council meeting.
In attendance to accept the donation were Assistant Village Manager Jim Barnes; Vinceremos founder Ruth Menor and Chief Operating Officer Susan Guinan; Wellington High School Principal Cara Hayden and ESE Coordinator Suzanne Pollard; as well as Wellington Community Foundation board members and the Wellington Village Council.