Boots & Salutes Benefiting Equest’s Hooves for Heroes
DALLAS – July 23, 2019 – On the evening of Friday, July 19, 300 supporters gathered for the third annual Boots & Salutes, presented by CrossFirst Bank, a picnic-style fundraiser for Equest’s fastest growing program, Hooves for Heroes. Co-Chairs Carolyn Anderson and Norma Jean Schaltenbrand led the fun-filled evening of tributes to the men and women who have served our country to protect our freedom.
Guests were welcomed by Equest Ambassadors Teddy and Taco (a miniature horse and donkey) and an eight-foot tall cowboy (on stilts!). The evening sky rumbled with the roaring engines of four WWII T-6 Texans as they flew over Equest at Texas Horse Park to officially start the fundraiser. Emcee Sonia Azad, health and wellness reporter at WFAA Channel 8, guided the program starting with the Pledge of Allegiance and The Star-Spangled Banner performed by Susannah Denney, Hooves for Heroes program manager.
Providing welcoming remarks, Equest CEO Lili Kellogg said, “Tonight, you are supporting our work to serve our veterans who desperately need our help and who deserve the best opportunities to successfully face the daunting transitions they face when they come home.”
The evening of tributes continued as first responders were recognized and veterans were asked to stand as their branch’s anthem played. Awards were then given to two outstanding veterans and Hooves for Heroes participants; Marine veteran Derick Garcia received the Pay It Forward Award, and Navy veteran KoCo Powell received the Above and Beyond Award.
Inspiring guests to donate, Director of Music and Fine Arts at CSLDallas, Oscar Seung, sang as a touching video showcased the life-changing work that happens at Equest every day. Following the video, guests raised their paddles to donate at various levels, raising over $28,000 in a matter of minutes.
Notable restaurants including, Bar Louie, Carlton Provisions, Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen, Haute Sweets Patisserie, Kolache Factory, Pop Star Popsicles, Savor Gastropub, Aw Shucks Crazy Brothers BBQ and Resident Taqueria, served casual gourmet cuisine. Guest stayed cool sipping on ice-cold beverages and beer provided by Real Ale Brewing Co. as they perused the stellar silent auction items curated by Auction Chair Kailey Pretzlaff. The Ray Johnston Band closed the evening on a high energy note as guests danced the night away under the stars.
Additional attendees included: Andy Steingasser, Cindy Thomas and Bert Headden, Annie and Teal Griffeth, Bill Noble, Greg Nared, Pam Petty, Carol Seay and 2020 Gala Chair Stephanie Seay.
Boots & Salutes was made possible by presenting sponsor CrossFirst Bank, Dan and Inez Browning, Marsh McLennan, Pendery’s World of Chiles & Spices, Dallas Mavericks, SettlePou Law Firm, Luther King Capital Management, Louise and Guy Griffeth, Sunbelt Rental, Dallas Light & Sound, Salas Services, Murad Auctions, Leadership Adventures, Global Cooling Solutions, Ryan Wolf, Mars Hill Farms, Living Magazine, Rita Wortham Photography, and Bob Manzano Photography.
Founded in 1981, Equest provides equine assisted learning, therapies and counseling to children and adults with physical, cognitive, sensory, coping and learning disabilities and veterans with adjustment challenges. The services provided include physical and occupational therapy, equine facilitated counseling and equine assisted learning, therapeutic carriage driving, therapeutic horsemanship and competition. With the help of 30 therapy horses, eight instructors, four therapists, two counselors, and 400 volunteers, lives are changed for more than 2,000 served annually. Equest was the first PATH International Premier Accredited Center in Texas and remains one of the largest in the country. Equest offers an engaging volunteer program that provides 30,000 hours of direct program service opportunities each year. www.equest.org
About Equest Hooves for Heroes
Through equine-assisted activities and therapies, Equest’s Hooves for Heroes program helps veterans and their families transition from military to civilian life and excel as community members, neighbors, and civic leaders. The individually tailored programs include equine facilitated mental health counseling, physical and occupational therapy, therapeutic horsemanship, carriage driving and more. Since its founding in 2012, Hooves for Heroes has helped more than 1,500 veterans and military family members at no cost, thanks to generous grant funding, charitable donations, and underwriting. www.equest.org/veterans
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