This year, at the 2016 PALS Fun Show, myself along with four other girls in my Event Planning class had the privilege of working behind the scenes with the PALS staff in preparation of this exciting event. We worked closely with Cynthia, the Outreach Coordinator of the organization. Siena, Emily, Meghan, Carly, and I were able to assist in planning the event by doing things like coming up with ideas for the Fun Zone, planning decorations, public relations and marketing, themes and layout. We were all super excited about helping out with the Fun Show and could not wait for the day of the event to arrive. When the day finally came and we started setting up, we couldn’t stop talking about how excited we were for people to start showing up and for the event to be under way.
Although the five of us were busy with our assigned duties during the show, we all made it a point to make it into the arena to simply take in the beauty of the event and witness the fun that the clients were having. “My favorite part of the Fun Show was seeing the clients ride their horses,” said Siena Patty who was busy at the check-in station throughout the day. “Seeing their smiling faces as they rode and received their trophies was incredible. Their hard word and dedication clearly paid off and I’m so glad that I got a chance to help out this amazing organization.” All of us left the event with a new found love for an organization that many of us had barely even heard of before. Just being able to attend the event that everyone involved with PALS looks forward to every single year made it such an amazing experience for us and we look forward to hopefully helping out with PALS again in the future.
IU Event Planning Student
Bruce has been a dedicated volunteer since April of 2013. He has done amazing work as a side walker and horse leader. Bruce always brings laughter to his volunteer shifts, playfully joking with his fellow volunteers, staff and clients. He has a great attitude and time-after-time ready to help at the drop of a hat, with coffee in hand, of course. We appreciate Bruce so much and know we can always count on him. We can’t thank Bruce enough for his time, effort, and dedication to programs!
Angie has been a part of the PALS program since June of 2015. After just one year of having Angie around, we don’t know how we’d get along without her! Angie has been one of the most hardworking and dedicated volunteers this organization has ever seen. Angie has volunteered in multiple capacities: horse leading, sidewalking, summer camp, special events, and keeping the facility looking clean! Angie is such a gentle and caring person. She brightens up our days and the days of everyone she volunteers with at PALS. Angie’s the definition of an all-star volunteer that can be counted on for anything and everything. We’re so grateful to have her as part of the PALS family.
Kaylee is truly an example of what makes PALS great. She started out riding horses as a child and was the inspiration behind PALS Horsemanship Program. As a part of the horsemanship program, Kaylee is encouraged to learn equine care and handling skills, anatomy, and training horses for the PALS program. Kaylee is well known around PALS as “The Horse Whisperer.” She is able to work with any horse and put them into a calm trance with her energy and touch. Her instructor encourages Kaylee to be as independent as possible and rarely needs to assist her in any activity. She has the confidence to groom her horse from her chair, and stand out of her chair to reach their backs. She now leads her horses independently and also has the strength to tack and untack horses. Her instructor, Lizzie, is so proud of the accomplishments she has achieved and the strength and confidence she has gained. There is always a crowd of volunteers around Kaylee when she comes to the barn as everyone wants to share in the joy she brings
Kaylee’s hard work and passion for her lessons epitomizes the spirit of a PALS rider and we’re excited to honor her as our 2016 Client of the Year.
Meet Dylan! He has been riding at PALS for two years. Dylan’s family was looking for an appropriate activity for an older child living with Autism when they discovered the therapeutic riding program. Since enrolling in programs, Dylan has learned how to help control his horse, and he really enjoys the motion of the trot. His horses, Babe and Scout, are calm and patient with Dylan, as they enjoy walking and trotting around with him in the arena each week!
Dylan’s family notices that he is calmer for days after horseback riding, especially if he has done some trotting. Family members have also observed that his ability to follow directions has improved.
Having Dylan at PALS is certainly fun! When on Scout, he is more vocal, speaking more frequently and offering musical entertainment for his volunteers and instructor. Some of Dylan’s favorite interactions include singing the “Cha-Cha Slide” and watching his instructor dance through the motions. Lately, he enjoys singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” while watching his instructor, Lizzie, dance along with him! Dylan is an entertaining pre-teen who just loves to make his team smile and laugh.
Published: September 23, 2016