It was a cool, sunny day at 5200 Lake Road, Medina, the site of Medina Creative Therapy Ranch. Medina Creative Housing celebrated another milestone in the Medina Creative Housing family of services at its Ribbon Cutting & Grand Opening of a PATH Certified Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program for individuals with disabilities. Over 125 people were in attendance to tour the newly constructed barn, arena, viewing room and sensory trail. Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty, Executive Director, opened the ceremony with personal remarks on how therapeutic riding had benefitted her family member and how much starting this program meant to her and the Medina Creative Housing Board of Trustees. DePasquale-Hagerty stated “it is my hope and prayer as I stand here today that this barn and arena will be a blessing to all those who participate and that worlds will expand allowing for growth for each individual that no one dreamed possible”.
Medina Creative Therapy Ranch has been operating a therapeutic horseback riding program for one year and has been at three separate barns during this time. Over the year, participants have developed self-esteem, independence, increased strength, balance, coordination, concentration and self-discipline. With the new facility DePasquale-Hagerty stated “we have state of the art stalls, a tack room, a heated and air conditioned viewing room, a handicapped accessible bathroom, a dressage arena, a sensory trail and outdoor pasture. We will now be able to take our program to the next level and make many, many dreams come true”.
Dr. Michael Carlson, Medina Creative Housing Board President, recognized the Board of Trustees for all of their efforts and thanked all the individuals and businesses who helped to make Medina Creative Therapy Ranch possible: ABC Equipment, Rental & Sales, Alan Bauer Family, Arnold Architectural Strategies, Tom Bednar-Masterwork Interiors, Tom Borror, Chance Family, Department of Development, Doug Eastwood-Medina Excavating, Medina Creative Property Maintenance, Ty Farnsworth, Finance Fund, Hedstrom Plastics, Mayor Dennis Hanwell-City of Medina, Medina Breakfast Kiwanis, Medina County Board of Realtors, Medina County Commissioners, Medina County Community Fund, Medina County Economic Development Corporation, Medina County Parks District, Medina Signs, Medina Tractor Sales, Mike Morris, Elaine Orlandi, Monica Parker, Pat Catan’s, Perrin Electric, Mike Reifsnyder Family, Speelman Electric, S & W Construction, TGC Engineering, TreeMasters Tree Service.
Dennis Neate, President of the Medina County Parks District Board of Trustees spoke of the partnership developed allowing for 25 acres of Park land to be leased to Medina Creative Housing on a long term basis to utilized for the creation of Medina Creative Therapy Ranch. In addition to therapeutic riding, six public programs will be offered at Medina Creative Therapy Ranch a year. Bethany Dentler and Mayor Hanwell congratulated Medina Creative Housing for their accomplishment. Betty Olah, parent of rider Patrick Olah, recounted how much Medina Creative Therapy Ranch means to her son and the freedom he feels each time he rides. Nikki Metheny, a Medina Creative Therapy Ranch rider, gave an emotional speech about how her excitement with the new facility and how thankful she is to be able to ride. Attendees were treated to a therapeutic horseback riding demonstration by McKenna Bauer, age 12, with the assistance of her lead and side walker volunteers (Hannah McDermott, Stacey Vugamott, Jennifer Peterson) and our PATH Certified Instructor, who rode proudly and whose mother, Kecia Bauer, was moved to tears by seeing the confidence her daughter has developed through the program. Steve Vojvodich, Medina County Community Fund Board Member, told the crowd how pleased he was that the MCCF was a part of this project helping to fund through a grant the Viewing Room for the comfort of riders, families and volunteers.
DePasquale-Hagerty concluded the ceremony recognizing Ben Schwartz, Tom Borror and Doug Eastwood as the backbone of the project working tirelessly to make Medina Creative Therapy Ranch happen for our riders. The Medina County Board of Realtors were recognized for their funding and building of the sensory trail. Attendees were invited to support the Medina Creative Therapy Ranch through a donation from the Wish List and Giving Tree that will be displayed at the barn for the next few months.