Category: fundraising

American Red Cross Honors Cecilia Russo Turner at Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

American Red Cross Honors Cecilia Russo Turner at Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

Esther Sheppard, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgia

(SAVANNAH, GA) The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiahosted its fifth Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. in downtown Savannah.

This event recognized local students who are giving back to their communities by volunteering at school and for religious organizations, various non-profits, camps and more. It also honored Cecilia Russo Turnerfor her volunteer work in the community, as well as her philanthropy and advocacy.

Honorees at the 2018 Red Cross Youth Heroes Award Breakfast

“We hold this event each year to recognize outstanding youth for their commitment to improving our communities through volunteer service and to help increase awareness of the difference a commitment to service and compassion makes in the lives of our neighbors in need,” said Esther Sheppard, the agency’s executive director. “We know their potential is boundless. Therefore, we also honor a community mentor of the year to inspire and encourage them in their work.”

Cecilia Russo Turner Honored at Red Cross Youth Heroes Award Breakfast

Cecilia Russo Turner Honored at Red Cross Youth Heroes Award Breakfast

Turner, this year’s community honoree, was CEO of Cecilia Russo Marketing. During her 23-year career, she has managed and participated in philanthropic activities that have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit charities and civic improvements in Savannah and the Lowcountry. Turner also was one of the creators of the Youth Heroes event.

(Left to Right) Esther Sheppard, Cecilia Russo Turner, and Cliff McCurry

 

(Left to Right) Josh Hildebrandt from the Georgia Secretary of State and Esther Sheppard

“Five years ago, I could not have imagined this idea would take hold, take shape and grow to be embraced the way it has by both this organization and the community it serves,” said Turner. “Professionally, my mentor is Cliff McCurry, who was, incidentally, the first recipient of this award. He and the other recipients have mentored untold numbers of young people, and each knows the power of hard work and rising above doubt, adversity and rejection.”

In addition to McCurry, who is a managing trustee at the University of Georgia Foundation; previous honorees are Cathy Hill, who recently retired as a senior executive with Georgia Power; Celia Dunn, owner of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty; and former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.

Students in the sixth through twelfth grades who were recognized are enrolled public or private schools or are home-school students in the 2017-2018 school year. They each had at least 30 recorded and verified volunteer activities addressing community needs within southeast and coastal Georgia.

Youth Honorees at 2018 Red Cross Youth Heroes Award Breakfast

The public were invited to support the Youth Heroes Breakfast and contribute to the American Red Crossthrough tax-deductible gifts that ranged from purchasing individual tickets or corporate-level packages to making donations to recognize the honorees.

“Contributions make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors in need when a disaster affects their lives,” said Sheppard. “We hope that, like these volunteers, members of the community will answer the call to help by supporting this organization and this event.”

For additional information, to buy individual tickets or to sponsor a table, email esther.sheppard@redcross.orgor call 912-651-5349.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS OF SOUTHEAST AND COASTAL GEORGIA
The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawas established on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1917, and has served the community for more than one hundred years, now providing services in 17 southeast Georgia counties. Volunteers constitute 96 percent of the workforce, serving as members of the board, instructors teaching lifesaving skills, disaster action team members, office administrators and event organizers. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/southeastgeorgiaor call 912-651-5300or 800-733-6767.

ABOUT CECILIA RUSSO TURNER
Cecilia Russo, of Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC,is a marketing professional with a proven record among Savannah’s top-tier non-profit and for-profit organizations, businesses and corporations in the areas of fund development, marketing, public relations and event planning. As a native Savannahian, Cecilia’s knowledge and experience give her unique insights into channeling the efforts of volunteers and constituents into effective, mission-driven public relations activities that translate into measurable results. She was voted one of Savannah’s “40 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Savannah Business Report and Journal in 2005. For more information, visit online at https://ceciliarussomarketing.wordpress.comor call 912-665-0005.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Cecilia Russo Turner
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

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Cecilia Russo, Cecilia Russo Marketing

American Red Cross Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

American Red Cross Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast

(SAVANNAH, GA) TheAmerican Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawill host its fifth Youth Heroes Awards Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 20, at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. in downtown Savannah.

This fundraising event will recognize local students who are giving back to their communities by volunteering at school and for religious organizations, various non-profits, camps and more. It will also honor Cecilia Russo Turnerfor her volunteer work in the community, as well as her philanthropy and advocacy.

“We hold this fundraiser each year to recognize outstanding youth for their commitment to improving our communities through volunteer service and to help increase awareness of the difference a commitment to service and compassion makes in the lives of our neighbors in need,” said Esther Sheppard, the agency’s executive director. “We know their potential is boundless. Therefore, we also honor a community mentor of the year to inspire and encourage them in their work.”

Cecilia Russo Turner of Cecilia Russo Marketing

Cecilia Russo Turner of Cecilia Russo Marketing

Turner, this year’s community honoree, is CEO of Cecilia Russo Marketing. During her 23-year career, she has managed and participated in philanthropic activities that have raised millions of dollars for nonprofit charities and civic improvements in Savannah and the Lowcountry. Turner also was one of the creators of the Youth Heroes event.

“Five years ago, I could not have imagined this idea would take hold, take shape and grow to be embraced the way it has by both this organization and the community it serves,” said Turner. “Professionally, my mentor is Cliff McCurry, who was, incidentally, the first recipient of this award. He and the other recipients have mentored untold numbers of young people, and each knows the power of hard work and rising above doubt, adversity and rejection.”

In addition to McCurry, who is a managing trustee at the University of Georgia Foundation; previous honorees are Cathy Hill, who recently retired as a senior executive with Georgia Power; Celia Dunn, owner of Celia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty; and former Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson.

Students in the sixth through twelfth grades who will be recognized are enrolled public or private schools or are home-school students in the 2017-2018 school year. They each have at least 30 recorded and verified volunteer activities addressing community needs within southeast and coastal Georgia.

The public is invited to support the Youth Heroes Breakfast and contribute to the American Red Crossthrough tax-deductible gifts that range from purchasing individual tickets or corporate-level packages to making donations to recognize the honorees.

“Contributions make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors in need when disaster affects their lives,” said Sheppard. “We hope that, like these volunteers, members of the community will answer the call to help by supporting this organization and this event.”

For additional information, to buy individual tickets or to sponsor a table, email esther.sheppard@redcross.orgor call 912-651-5349.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS OF SOUTHEAST AND COASTAL GEORGIA
The American Red Cross of Southeast and Coastal Georgiawas established on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1917, and has served the community for more than one hundred years, now providing services in 17 southeast Georgia counties. Volunteers constitute 96 percent of the workforce, serving as members of the board, instructors teaching lifesaving skills, disaster action team members, office administrators and event organizers. For more information, visit www.redcross.org/southeastgeorgiaor call 912-651-5300or 800-733-6767.

ABOUT CECILIA RUSSO TURNER
Cecilia Russo, of Cecilia Russo Marketing, LLC,is a marketing professional with a proven record among Savannah’s top-tier non-profit and for-profit organizations, businesses and corporations in the areas of fund development, marketing, public relations and event planning. As a native Savannahian, Cecilia’s knowledge and experience give her unique insights into channeling the efforts of volunteers and constituents into effective, mission-driven public relations activities that translate into measurable results. She was voted one of Savannah’s “40 Business Leaders Under 40” by the Savannah Business Report and Journal in 2005. For more information, visit online at https://ceciliarussomarketing.wordpress.com or call 912-665-0005.

MEDIA INQUIRIES
Cecilia Russo Turner
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon Announced at Peacock Automotive

Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon Announced at Peacock Automotive
Event Starts and Ends at the Recently Opened Used Car and Truck Dealership in Peacock Auto Mall

(JASPER COUNTY, S.C.) Peacock Automotiveannounces they will partner with Southeastern Guide Dogs to host a walkathon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, at Peacock Auto Mall.The event will start and end at the new dealership Peacock Used Cars & Trucks, 84 Auto Mall Blvd.

The event will be kid friendly and will have local firefighters and a fire truck for children’s interaction throughout the day. People are encouraged to bring their dogs.

Southeastern Guide Dogsbelieves people with visual impairments and veterans with disabilities deserve hope, confidence and independence. Their mission is to transform lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs.

“We walk because the proceeds help us raise, train, match and support our amazing guide dogs with our visually impaired students, people whose lives are transformed by new levels of independence and freedom,” said Kerstin Ramus, Volunteer Area Coordinator of Puppy Raising Services for the greater Savannah Area. “And we walk because Veterans with post-traumatic stress injuries or requiring mobility assistance count on us for our remarkable service dogs. At Southeastern Guide Dogs, this Walkathon represents our biggest fundraiser of the year and we are grateful for the support of the Peacock Auto Mall.”

Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon at Peacock Automotive

Southeastern Guide Dogs Walkathon at Peacock Automotive

Southeastern Guide Dogs’ services include breeding and training dogs, on-campus instruction and lifetime follow-up for graduates. They’re provided at no cost to students and veterans. In line with the mission of Southeastern Guide Dogs, the Lions Club will be on site with free vision testing for anyone who is participating in the walkathon.

“This organization receives no government funding and relies 100 percent on donations from people in our community,” said Warner Peacock, president and CEO of Peacock Automotive. “We’re excited that we could support this group by hosting this event, and we’re excited to show the public our brand new used car and truck center at the Auto Mall.”

Peacock Used Cars & Trucksoffers an inventory of more than 400 vehicles of all makes and models from the 15 brands featured at the Peacock Auto Mall, which covers 45 acres. The company established the dealership as a convenience to those looking for a previously owned car or truck so they can shop in one location. The dealership also features selections of more affordable used cars starting at $3,750.

“We continue to expand our offerings to serve car buyers in the Lowcountry, and this new dealership is another way to do just that,” said Peacock. “People will find the same great service at this dealership as they do at all of our operations.”

Peacock Used Cars & Trucksis expected to add several jobs to the group, which now employs about 600 people at its franchises in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. The dealership is located in the space formerly occupied by the Nissan dealership and is managed by Daryl Booth.

For more information about the walkathon, visit https://guidedogswalkathon.org/savannah. Visit the dealership online at www.peacockusedcars.comor call 843-208-1400.

ABOUT PEACOCK AUTOMOTIVE
Peacock Automotiveowns and operates 20 automotive franchises in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida and employs more than 600 individuals. The company’s headquarters are located at the Peacock Auto Mallthat covers 45 acres on U.S. 278, five miles east of Interstate 95 at Exit 8 near Bluffton, S.C. Fifteen brands are featured at the Auto Mall, including Alfa Romeo, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Genesis, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Maserati, Porsche, Ram, Subaru and Volkswagen. Additionally, the company owns Peacock Hyundai Savannah, Savannah Volkswagen, Alfa Romeo & Fiat of Savannah and Jaguar Land Rover Columbia in Columbia, S.C. Its subsidiary, Peacock-Griffey Automotive, owns Peacock Ford in Orlando, Fla. Peacock Automotivealso owns and operates the Peacock Collision Center and The Wellness Institute in South Carolina. For more information about Peacock Automotive, call (843) 208-1258or visit https://www.peacockautomotive.com/

MEDIA CONTACT
Jill Jauch
Advertising and Marketing Manager
912-507-7171
jj@peacockautomotive.com

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire Fifth Annual Wine Women & Shoes Fundraiser

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire Announces Fifth Annual Wine Women & Shoes Fundraiser Set for May 3

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Fifth Annual Wine Women & Shoes fundraiser will be held on Thursday, May 3 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Savannah, located at 2 W Bay St. This major fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire benefits families of seriously ill and injured children.

“Last year we raised more than $150 thousand and we have worked hard to help make this year’s fundraiser supporting the Ronald McDonald House our best ever,” said Bill Sorochak, executive director. “We are expecting a sell-out crowd of more than 600 guests for a fabulous evening of sip-sational wines, fabulous shopping, charming ‘Shoe Guys’ and savory foods.”

Kicking off at 6:00 p.m., VIP ticket holders will be allowed early access to the Hyatt’s Harborside Room (the glass room on River Street) to peruse items for sale and get first dibs on the coveted Keys-to-the-Closet and Key-to-the-Cellar raffles. Then, at 7:00 p.m., the doors will open for everyone else to join the festivities.

“We say that this event can change your shoes but its real mission is to change lives,” Sorochak added. “One hundred percent of the funds raised in the Coastal Empire stays here to help our residents cope with the stress and expense of daily living while trying to be close and emotionally strong for their child. In 2017, we provided 4,270 family night stays at the Ronald McDonald House. An event like this can provide 1,600 of those family-night stays.”

Sorochak projects proceeds from this year’s Wine Women & Shoes may top previous years due, in part, to the continued support from local McDonald’s restaurant owners and operators as well as the dedication of partners since the event’s inception – Ameris Bank, Dr. Corinne Howington of Low Country Dermatology and Cecilia Russo Marketing.

Tickets are now on sale and sponsor opportunities are also available. For tickets or more information, contact Bill Sorochak at bill@rmhccoastalempire.org or visit http://www.winewomenandshoes.com/savannah.

MORE ABOUT WINE WOMEN & SHOES
Wine Women & Shoes is the brainchild of Napa Valley vintner, Elaine Honig. While chatting with a girlfriend about the growing popularity of wine and food pairing events, they jokingly said, “Wine and shoe pairings would be a lot more fun!” And they were right. WW&S events are now in 50 cities across the country, and they have raised more than $22,000,000 for women and children’s causes. Wine Women & Shoes fundraisers create an opportunity for partnerships between charities, wineries, shoe and accessory retailers, corporate sponsors and women in the community. In addition to raising money, these events raise awareness for charities, increase sales for wineries and retail partners, and provide community outreach for corporate sponsors. For more information, visit http://www.winewomenandshoes.com/savannah

MORE ABOUT RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF THE COASTAL EMPIRE
The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire is to create, find and support programs that directly enhance the health and well-being of children and families. The Savannah Ronald McDonald House has thirteen bedrooms and operates on a waiting list most of the year. The House provides a “home away from home” for families who live more than thirty miles away and who have a critically ill or injured child receiving treatment at Memorial Children’s Hospital, Candler Hospital, or where needed in the Coastal Empire.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing
info@crussomarketing.com
912-665-0005

Southern Coast Heart Ball Raises $260K for the American Heart Association

Southern Coast Heart Ball Sponsored By Peacock Automotive Raises $260K for the American Heart Association

(HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.) The American Heart Association–Southern Coast has raised $260,000 to benefit the organization’s mission to fight and prevent heart disease and stroke in the Savannah and Hilton Head Island areas.

The funds were raised at the organization’s 21st Annual Heart Ball of the Southern Coast attended by more than 500 people on Feb. 3 at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa.

“If you don’t think this disease can touch everyone, believe me, it can,” said Warner Peacock, president and CEO of Peacock Automotive, whose son, Landon Peacock, had a heart incident when he was 21 years old. “My family and I personally know the importance of supporting the mission of this organization.”

Peacock’s Audi Hilton Head dealership was the legacy sponsor for this year’s gala, as it has been for several of the Southern Coast Heart Ball events. The dealership is located at the Peacock Auto Mall on U.S. 278 in Jasper County, S.C.

Landon Peacock also served as the 2018 Open Your Heart chair to bring community and philanthropic leaders together to celebrate the mission of the local group. The evening of dining, dancing, live entertainment and fundraising auctions was supported by Hilton Head Regional Healthcare and was emceed by Dr. Terri Hubbard and Dr. Atul Gupta. The event also recognized Maggie Maine, the 2018 Open Your Heart Honoree who was born with a congenital heart defect.

A number of luxury items were donated for the event’s auction, including cultural trips to Spain, a Bahamas vacation and the chance to be named in a Mary Kay Andrews novel. Proceeds will be used to further cardiovascular disease research, to improve the lives of local residents and to provide community education about the risks of cardiovascular disease and strokes.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States while stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Nearly 2,200 Americans die of heart disease each day.

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization. To learn more about the American Heart Association Southern Coast or Southern Coast Heart Ball, please call (843) 540-6338 or visit southerncoastheartball.heart.org

Peacock Automotive Rebrands New River Auto Mall to Peacock Auto Mal

ABOUT PEACOCK AUTOMOTIVE
Peacock Automotive owns and operates 20 automotive franchises in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida and employs more than 600 individuals. The company’s headquarters are located at the Peacock Auto Mall that covers 45 acres on U.S. 278, five miles east of Interstate 95 at Exit 8 in South Carolina. Fifteen brands are featured at the Auto Mall, including Alfa Romeo, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Genesis, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Maserati, Porsche, Ram, Subaru and Volkswagen. Additionally, the company owns Savannah Volkswagen, Alfa Romeo & Fiat of Savannah and Jaguar Land Rover Columbia in Columbia, S.C. Its subsidiary, Peacock-Griffey Automotive, owns Peacock Ford in Orlando, Fla. Peacock Automotive also owns and operates the Peacock Collision Center and the Wellness Institute in South Carolina. For more information about Peacock Automotive, call (843) 208-1258 or visit https://www.peacockautomotive.com/

MEDIA CONTACT
Jill Jauch
Advertising and Marketing Manager
912-507-7171
jj@peacockautomotive.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Jennifer Waites
Director of Marketing Communications
(803) 665-0120

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center Select Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society’s Joe Marchese and WSAV’s Ariella Scalese as Emcees for the 2018 Hearts for Healing Gala on Feb. 9

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center Select Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society’s Joe Marchese and WSAV’s Ariella Scalese as Emcees for the 2018 Hearts for Healing Gala on Feb. 9

(SAVANNAH, GA) Joe Marchese, immediate past president of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) in Savannah, and Ariella Scalese, forecaster for the WSAV Storm Team 3, have been chosen as the emcees for the Hearts for Healing Gala to benefit Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center. The second annual event will be held on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel.

Faith Equestrian is a non-profit organization founded to improve the quality of life for children with special needs through therapeutic interaction with horses at the center.

Joe Marchese

Joe Marchese

Marchese, who has years of experience in the differently abled community, will help guide the night’s activities, which include dinner, dancing, a silent auction and live music from the John Brackett Quartet.

“I am humbled and honored to be presented with this opportunity,” said Marchese. “As a founding board member of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society, and as a parent of a child with Down Syndrome I have been exposed to the emotional and cognitive challenges faced by children with different abilities and I love what a difference that Faith Equestrian makes in their lives.”

Ariella Scalese

Ariella Scalese

Scalese graduated from Lehigh University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Earth and Environmental Science and minored in Mass Communication before coming to Savannah to continue her career in broadcasting. Scalese volunteers for a number of organizations including Faith Equestrian.

“Since moving here in 2016, I made it a goal to find local organizations that I’m passionate about and donating my time to them,” said Scalese. “Faith Equestrian has given me so much more than I could ever give to it, and I’m honored to be named an emcee for their annual gala.”

Faith Equestrian serves children with all types of challenges, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Interaction with the horses allows the students to build strength, develop coordination skills and gain confidence in an outdoor and supportive setting.

Gala Logo

2018 Hearts for Healing Gala

The gala is the center’s largest fundraiser of the year and helps cover the costs for children to participate in the Faith Equestrian program.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the silent auction; the reception will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $150 and may be purchased at http://www.faithetc.org/hearts-for-healing-gala/.

The 2018 Hearts for Healing Gala is sponsored by Savannah Special Events by Ranco, First City Events, Low Country Paper Co., Whitemarsh Beverage, J Thomas Catering, Savannah’s Hall of Cakes, South Magazine and Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

MORE ABOUT THE LOWCOUNTRY DOWN SYNDROME SOCIETY
The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is a family support group to benefit people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, outreach, education and advocacy to champion and celebrate acceptance and inclusion. Meetings are held every fourth Tuesday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact. LDSS encourages people to bring their children to all of their meetings. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/

ABOUT FAITH EQUESTRIAN THERAPEUTIC CENTER
Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center, 243 Appaloosa Way in Guyton, GA. 31312, exists to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through the power of the horse. The program serves children ages 4 to 18 with all types of challenges, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. The center offers therapeutic riding courses and an equestrian program in partnership with local schools. For more information, visit https://faithetc.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Faith Equestrian To Hold 2018 Gala to Support Equine Therapy for Children on Feb. 9

Faith Equestrian To Hold 2018 Gala to Support Equine Therapy for Children on Feb. 9

(SAVANNAH, GA) Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center will hold their second annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. The evening will include dinner, dancing and live music from the John Brackett Quartet. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the silent auction; the reception will begin at 7 p.m.

Faith Equestrian is a non-profit organization founded to improve the quality of life for children with special needs through the therapeutic nature of horses.

Gala Logo

2018 Hearts for Healing Gala

“Fundraisers and donations cover all the costs for a child to participate in our program,” said Bonnie Rachael, the program’s founder and executive director. “The Gala is our largest fundraiser and a great way for us to create awareness for our unique program.”

Rachael opened the center in 2006 with only two students, three horses and a $25,000 budget. Today, the program has expanded to serve more than 125 participants from Chatham, Effingham and surrounding counties. It has a $200,000 budget, eleven horses, two instructors and more than 60 volunteers.

The center is accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, Intl.), which reports some of the benefits of equine assisted activities and therapies on their website (www.pathintl.org).

Faith Equestrian serves children with all types of challenges, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Interaction with the horses allows the students to build strength, develop coordination skills, and gain confidence in an outdoor and supportive setting.

Michael, an autistic child whose real name is being withheld to protect the privacy of he and his family, began taking therapeutic riding lessons at Faith Equestrian in 2011 in an effort to improve his attention span, his ability to follow directions, keep calm in new situations, as well as to become able to speak.

Part of Michael’s lesson each week was to encourage speech as part of the therapeutic plan along with following directions of steering the horse. The instructor repeated phrases telling Michael to tell his horse to “walk on” and increased the speed of the horse from a walk to a trot.

“It took 8 months, patience and a horse, for Michael to begin to speak,” said Rachael. “During the normal routine of his riding lesson, he said ‘WALK ON’ himself in a loud voice. Everyone, volunteers and mom alike broke into tears of joy.”

Since that day, Michael has improved cognitively, behaviorally, and physically. He has begun using sign language he has learned, is now beginning to steer his horse and follow the instructor’s directions.

“These are the types of stories that help us know we are changing people’s lives,” said Rachael. “And we need the community to support this powerful program.”

Tickets for the Gala are $150 and may be purchased at http://www.faithetc.org/hearts-for-healing-gala/.

The 2018 Hearts for Healing Gala is sponsored by Savannah Special Events by Ranco, First City Events, Low Country Paper Co., Whitemarsh Beverage, J Thomas Catering, Savannah’s Hall of Cakes, South Magazine and Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

For more information on sponsoring the gala or any aspect of the equestrian program, call 912.728.3728 or visit https://faithetc.org

ABOUT FAITH EQUESTRIAN THERAPEUTIC CENTER
Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center, located at 243 Appaloosa Way in Guyton, GA. 31312, exists to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through the power of the horse. The program serves children ages 4 to 18 with all types of challenges including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. The center offers therapeutic riding courses and an equestrian program in partnership with local schools. For more information, visit https://faithetc.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075