There was a lot to celebrate as Blenheim EquiSports wrapped up the Spring Series in San Juan Capistrano. Along with congratulating all the award winners, Blenheim was pleased to launch the new Chip In For Charity program, where every blue ribbon class winner received a "chip" that could be used to donate to one of four charities. Truly excited for the opportunity to give back to worthy causes, the horse show community responded with exuberance.
Uryadi's Village, an organization that works to support vulnerable children and their families, is one of the program's recipients.
The Uryadi's Village booth at the Spring Series
"What an amazing opportunity the Chip in For Charity program offers us," explained Jennifer Crooks, Executive Director of Uryadi's Village. "We not only raised funds, we raised awareness! People whom I may never have been in contact with generously donated."
Crooks was impressed with the support from show management as well. "Blenheim also invited us to do some innovative fundraising. In the grand prix, we had 'Jump for the Village' - every time a rider cleared the Uryadi's Village jump, people could offer a donation amount. We also had a silent auction," she explained. "Overall, we raised almost $20,000. To top it off, a donor sponsored a hut in the village for an additional $20,000. We're looking forward to the rest of the show season!"
Currently in Ethiopia at Uryadi's Village, Crooks is putting those donations to work.
Lane Clarke and Balu U clearing the Uryadi's Village jump. Photo © McCool
Thrive Animal Rescue, another of the four charities, will be at this week's Showpark Ranch & Coast Classic, with dogs available for adoption. Giving back can be rewarding with a new furry friend.
Chip In For Charity raised almost $3,000 during the Spring Series. For more details on the Chip In For Charity program, please visit the show office or this site.
Thrive Animal Rescue
: An adoption organization founded by Cece Bloum, Thrive's mission is to save abandoned dogs from the loneliness of shelter life and place them into loving families and forever homes. As an entirely donation-based, non-profit with 501c3 status, Thrive relies on the generosity of the dog-loving community of Southern California for their continued success and ability to make a difference for animals in need.
: Founded by Jennifer Crooks, Uryadi's Village is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support vulnerable children and their extended families around the globe by developing social, economic and environmentally renewable systems with orphans, vulnerable women and children where the need is greatest. Their current focus is in Ethiopia, Africa which has five million orphans, more than any other country in the world.
Park Place Foundation
: Park Place Foundation, based in Southern California, was formed to promote and embrace a healthy lifestyle for children and teens as they embark into their journey toward adulthood. The Foundation strives to make changes in how society perceives and treats addiction and mental illness through education, increased awareness and sharing the personal stories of peers. The Scarlett's Jumper Derby, held in San Juan Capistrano by Blenheim EquiSports, is one of the area events that benefits the Park Place Foundation. Now in its third year, Scarlett's Derby brings attention to some of the stories behind the Foundation's mission.
The Shea Center for Therapeutic Riding
: Established in 1978 and located in San Juan Capistrano, the J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through therapeutic horse-related programs. It was founded by Nancy and Derek Lewis for their son Michael, who was born with cerebral palsy. The Shea Center now serves over 860 riders each year, utilizing 20 horses and the assistance of more than 750 community volunteers.