Friday
Sep022016

September's Volunteer of the Month

 

 

 

Kellie Ketchen was an avid horsewoman, well known and a loved teacher for many years before being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Her diagnosis of secondary progressive MS was in 1996, however, she continued her passion for teaching in the classroom with the help of many of her students and faculty.  As she moved from a cane to a walker and then to a wheelchair, the associated fatigue and paralysis of the disease eventually grew more debilitating and Kellie had to retire from teaching. 

For every door that closed, Kellie has valiantly opened another.  She has spent the years following as an avid animal rescue volunteer for golden retrievers a breed which she has owned and loved throughout her life.  Kellie spends her time now creating beautiful handcrafted cards.  Because she is limited by her disability, her friends and family assist her with her creations.  She has recently donated cards to her local Veterinary clinic and to LaDawn Therapeutic Riding Center as well as providing beautiful cards and decorations for family and friends on holidays throughout the year. Kellie is grateful to be able to help LaDawn raise money for their therapy horses. 

Wednesday
Aug032016

August's Volunteer of the month

Here is the answers to why Jennie Poisson is our August's Volunteer of the month. Please take a moment to read how dedicated she is and why Jennie is one of our most valuded volunteer's!
When did you start: I started volunteering either six or seven years ago when I was 9 or 10 but I first started riding at Ladawn when I was around 4
What did you have for knowledge before coming here?  How have you grown since coming. I knew next to nothing about both horses and therapeutic riding. I have learned to work hard which in turn helped me improve all other aspect of my life. I learned how to deal with different situations and work with different types of people. I have learned to not give up and not to complain.
Something memorable/inspirational: There are so many memorable things that have happened to me at the barn from things like seeing a new student being really scared then having an inspirational moment and ending up loving to ride, to doing really fun new thing that without ladawn I would never have been able to do. Every moment at ladawn is something I cherish and nearly everyday I come I am inspired in some way.
Favorite therapy horse.  Why? My favorite therapy horse is Lucus because he's just a big baby. I have been riding him for around 3 years and I feel like we have really bonded and become close.
Why do you come/what makes you come back every week?  What do you enjoy the most/favorite activity while here? I come back every week because I feel like I'm doing a good thing. Helping isn't about me it's about helping the horses, the students and everyone else, and even though it's not about me I still end up having a lot of fun. I don't really have a favorite activity, anything to do with the horses is pretty awesome, whether it's cleaning stalls or helping with a lesson no matter what I find a way to enjoy it.
Favorite season of the barn? Beginning of summer right after school ends because people come to help, I get to come more and it's really a bit more relaxed than during winter.
Saturday
Jul022016

July's Volunteer of the Month

Here’s the story of how Martha Turner arrived at LaDawn. Many years ago, in nursing school, she had been a sidewalker at a therapeutic horseback riding program affiliated with New England Rehab. Martha also had taken horseback riding lessons growing up, and loved the riding, loved the horses. After she retired from the Postal Service, her first volunteer position was with the Salmon Falls Library. Martha loves to read, and some other members of her book club also volunteered at the library. After a while, Martha started looking for an additional volunteer opportunity that would help her get more active, as her natural inclination is to spend her days curled up on the couch with a book.

 Her dedication and appreciation goes far beyond our expectations. Please read her answers to why we chose Martha as our Volunteer of the month!

1)  What did you have for knowledge before coming here?  How have you grown since coming?

I had some experience as a sidewalker, and I have taken riding lessons. I am an RN (retired), so I have knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, and experience working with all kinds of patients.

I am pleased to be in much better shape physically. I am not naturally inclined to any sort of physical activity, but I am highly motivated to keep up with the horses and students, and I look forward to my time at LaDawn. I enjoy the physical activity.

2)  Something memorable/inspirational:

All my life I have enjoyed “learning” anywhere, any time. I went to school for a lot of years (a BSN as well as a BA in sociology), and I have taken lots of adult ed classes, and I love going to workshops and conferences and classes. When I retired, I looked forward to receiving the SAD 6 adult ed catalog every spring and fall, so I could plan what classes to take. Now, since I’ve been at LaDawn, I no longer feel the need to study the catalog, because I look forward to learning something every week at LaDawn. This fulfills my need to keep my brain active as well as my body. I look forward to learning about the horses, the barn chores, the different types of students, all of it. The more I learn, the better I like it; the more I learn, the more I can help.

3)  Favorite therapy horse.  Why?

My favorite horse: I would have to say Dozer, because I have worked with him the most. When Kelly was showing me how to lead a horse, she kept saying, you have to look ahead where you’re going, not at the horse. And I said “but I like looking at Dozer” and she said, we all do, but there’s a time and a place for that. I’ve learned that even with a horse and student that you are used to, you have to be on the alert at all times. And I can keep up with Dozer. I’m not yet ready to run along beside some of the tallest horses I still have trouble keeping up. But I can walk really well with Dozer. And I’ve also worked with Zippy, and I see how much everyone loves him, and students often request Zippy. But I feel Dozer is my favorite, at least for now!

4)  Why do you come/what makes you come back every week?  What do you enjoy the most/favorite activity while here?

I look forward to seeing everyone each week, both the horses and the humans (and the dogs, too). I am awed by the interaction between the students and Donna and the horses. People who cannot walk or speak, put them on the horse and they seem like someone else. They are mobile and active. They get a whole new view of the world. Some of these students have been riding here for many years, and they continue to look forward to riding every week. I am so impressed by the dedication of everyone involved with LaDawn. I look forward to helping in any way I can (except perhaps not making wreaths!). If I were a millionaire, I would like to be able to donate a million dollars. But for now, I am eager to provide whatever assistance I can.

5)  Favorite season of the barn? (EX: winter because of the Christmas deco, summer because of haying…)

I haven’t been at the stable for a full year yet, so I haven’t experienced the full summer heat. I started in the early fall, before the school year began. I am really enjoying the spring, looking forward to being outside again, instead of just inside. I am not much of a summer person, do not enjoy the hot weather. I actually enjoyed the winter, bundling up in lots of extra clothing. I enjoy the pony ride days. One of my favorite activities is brushing the horses. My least favorite activity: making wreaths. I have enjoyed everything else!

Saturday
Jul022016

Biddeford Saco Chamber of Commerece Business After Hours 

We hosted the Business After Hours and had a successful showing of our program. Thank you to all that volunteered and assisted with our presentation. Please visit the Chamber's Facebook page to view our pictures of our presentation.

 

Thursday
Jun162016

Volunteer of the Month!

Sharron Paquereau became a volunteer 5 years ago. Here dedication and appreciation goes far beyond our expectations. Please read her answers to why we chose Sharron as our Volunteer of the month!

1)  What did you have for knowledge before coming here?  How have you grown since coming?

I had done a bit of riding in my youth and have always adored horses. My experience with LaDawn started about 11 years ago when our daughter, Jayna, began riding.

Being at LaDawn has given me a better understanding of how simple actions and graceful patience can have a huge impact on complex situations.

2)  Something memorable/inspirational:

Watching my daughter advance from needing side walkers to being a completely independent rider has been an amazing experience.  Each time that I remember the first time she rode with no assistance, I am filled with joy, amazement and pride! I will always be grateful for our time at LaDawn.

3)  Favorite therapy horse.  Why?

Abby is my favorite therapy horse because she is, all at once, gentle and kind and sassy! that being said, Izzy is my all over favorite!

4)  Why do you come/what makes you come back every week?  What do you enjoy the most/favorite activity while here?

I come to LaDawn partly to share in something that is greatly important to my daughter and partly because I believe in the programs at LaDawn and the benefits they offer their clients. Participation (even in a small way) in any person healing or advancement is both important and joyous to me, being involved in such things brings me to LaDawn on a regular basis.

My favorite activity at the barn is listening to and watching clients, friends, and volunteers share stories. Listening how they support each other and enjoying one another as family.

5)  Favorite season of the barn? (EX: winter because of the Christmas deco, summer because of haying…)

My favorite seasons at LaDawn are the ones that involve spending time with Donna Lariviere!