Talk Of Equine Therapy For Military Vets—And A Generous Gift—Highlight Equest’s Hooves for Heroes Party

Carolyn Anderson seems like a natural to chair Equest’s second annual Boots And Salutes fundraiser, benefiting Equest’s Hooves for Heroes program, this coming July at Texas Horse Park. Hooves for Heroes helps military veterans, first responders and their families transition to civilian life through equestrian therapy. Carolyn has a brother who’s a colonel in the army, and a sister who has cerebral palsy. “I have a soft spot for people with special needs,” she said.

Carolyn Anderson, Norma Jean Schaltenbrand and Kailey Pretzlaff*

Greg Nieberding and Susan Schwartz*

Carolyn was standing in the “retro” living room of Greg Nieberding’s 1950s-style designer showhouse, where about 50 people had gathered Thursday, January 25, for the Boots And Salutes patron party. Among those enjoying the evening were Louise Griffeth, Equest co-founder Susan Schwartz, Equest board chair Andy Steingasser, James Thomas, Norma Jean Schaltenbrand, Kailey Pretzlaff and Joe Dealey Jr. with his daughter, Beverly Dealey. Equest CEO Lili Kellogg shared the great news that Joe and the Dealey Family Foundation had generously decided to donate $100,000 annually for three years to Hooves for Heroes.

Beverly Dealey, Joe Dealey Jr. and Lili Kellogg*

Michele Ritter and Andy Steingasser*

Kristina and Phil Whitcomb

Nancy and Ron Natinsky and James Thomas*

Also in attendance were Dr. John Burrus, CEO of Metrocare Services, and Equest board member Nancy Natinsky and her husband, former Dallas city council member Ron Natinsky. Ron said the couple had recently downsized from a 5,000-square-foot home in North Dallas to a much smaller, high-rise condo in the Knox-Henderson area, and were loving it.

As the guests enjoyed their wine and hors d’oeuvres, a panel discussion commenced featuring Burruss, military/combat veteran Joe Lucido, Equest program counselor Christa Collum, and Jeff Hensley, Equest’s director of clinical and veterans services. Jeff recounted that, over the last six years, more than 900 veterans and military family members had come to Equest seeking help with the likes of “identity issues, PTSD, depression, and other matters that make adapting to civilian life challenging.”

Christa Collum, Joe Lucido and John Burruss*

One of them was Joe. He told the gathering that, prior to volunteering with Hooves for Heroes, “I was not a functional individual. I needed to make progress. I was a mess. All I knew about horses was they would bite you, or fall over on you. I wasn’t sure how a horse could help me, but I had nothing to lose.

“A horse is a prey animal, and I realized that’s what we [soldiers] were on the battlefield, too,” the veteran went on, telling how he’d come to “bond” with the nonprofit’s therapy horses. “Without Equest, I would not have made the progress that I have.”

Burruss and Hensley, meantime, alluded to the fact that, last June, Metrocare and Equest began one of the first partnerships in the country to research and collect data about equine therapy through focus groups. Their partnership, it’s hoped, will be a catalyst for other equine therapy programs across the country to do the same. The ultimate goal: ensuring that equine therapy is recognized as a source of mental-health treatment by the medical industry.

Boots And Salutes will be held on Friday, July 20, at Equest at Texas Horse Park. Carolyn and Equest say the “USO-style” event will include an aerial salute by World War II aircraft, live Frank Sinatra-inspired music, food and drink, and “a tribute to both our nation’s heroes and Equest’s heroes, the therapy horses.”

* Photo credit: Bob Manzano

JUST IN: Dallas Market Center CEO/President Cindy Morris To Receive Attitudes And Attire’s Kim Dawson Attitude Award

Attitudes and Attire Founder/Executive Director Lyn Berman has just revealed that Dallas Market Center CEO/President Cindy Morris will be the recipient of the 2018 Kim Dawson Attitude Award on Friday, February 23, in the Dallas Trade Mart’s Grand Pavilion.

Cindy Morris*

According to Lyn, “Cindy is a successful role model for all women, and we are thrilled to introduce her as our 2018 Kim Dawson Attitude Award recipient. I am grateful to Cindy and Dallas Market Center for their continued support of Attitudes and Attire over the past 21 years.”

Established in 1998 to “honor individuals whose standout personality and accomplishments exemplify the potential of all women. Named after the iconic Kim Dawson, the award recognizes individuals who are confident and committed with a high degree of integrity.”

Past award recipients have included Karen Farris, Caroline Rose Hunt, Sarah Losinger and the late Ebby Halliday.

Serving as honorary co-chairs for the 22nd Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show will be Susannah Denney and Jeff Hensley of Equest’s Hooves for Heroes Veterans Program.  

Since its founding in 1996, Attitudes and Attire has helped more than 21,000 women have their confidence restored through three programs

  • Core Program (Job Readiness and Self-Esteem Workshops),
  • Hopeful Smiles Restorative Dental Program and
  • Boots to Heels Women Veterans Program.
* Photo provided by Attitudes and Attire

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic And Veteran Tribute Dinner

According to Maribeth Schultz, Ph. D., United States Air Force (Ret.) and Equest Hooves for Heroes participant about the Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic and Veteran Tribute Dinner,

“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I was an active duty Air Force psychologist and captain for seven years and came to Equest through their veterans program. I had reached the point where I couldn’t move. I couldn’t walk. Sometimes I would freeze up. I couldn’t get out of bed, and I couldn’t leave my house. And I came here [Equest], and I began to move and feel like I was a person again. It’s more than fun. It’s a lifeline. This has made a tremendous difference in my life. I had no life before Equest, and I say that sincerely. I appreciate the veterans program and everything it has brought to us.

“Adds Equest Director of Clinical and Veteran Services Jeff Hensley, ‘The Equest Hooves for Heroes program improves the lives of American warriors: our veterans. There are a host of challenges that veterans face when they leave active duty, and these can contribute to the heart-breaking reality that 22 veterans take their lives every day. At Equest, we are creating a safe environment for them to connect with one another, the community, and supporters, and overcome these challenges, and in doing so, we are quite literally saving lives. To date, Equest Hooves for Heroes has served approximately 370 individuals from Vietnam-era to present day conflicts at no cost.’

“Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic Co-Chair Kelly Bennett explains how you can help: ‘The Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic and Veterans Tribute Dinner, hosted by Honorary Chair Patrick M. Walsh, Admiral USN (Ret.) and my Co-Chair Andy Walsh, is one of Equest’s largest fundraisers and honors Equest’s veterans program. Not only is it raising necessary funds to provide complimentary services, but the dinner also pays tribute to those who have served America.

“‘It is a wonderful two-day event at Gleneagles Country Club located at 5401 West Park Boulevard Plano. The Veterans Tribute Dinner, including cocktail reception, silent auction, and dinner, will be held on Sunday, November 13, at 6:30 p.m. featuring guest speaker William D. French, Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.) who serves as President and CEO of the Armed Services YMCA based in Springfield, VA and as member of the National Advisory Committee for the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC). Tables are available for $1,000 (ten people) or individual tickets may be purchased for $100.

“‘The following day, the fun-filled Golf Classic will feature a helicopter drop, raffle items, gift bags, boxed lunch, long drive expert, and awards reception. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 per individual or $600 for a group of four.’”