Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC), a nonprofit organization providing therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-facilitated group services to children and adults with physical, social and mental health needs received a generous $16,500 grant from The League Club, Inc. from their Community Trust Fund. The grant will provide participant scholarships as well as support for general operations which have been greatly affected by the loss of revenue brought on by the suspension of programming due to the coronavirus.
The grant was originally intended to fund weekly therapeutic riding lessons for children and adults with cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities. During lessons the horse’s movement mimics the movement of a human’s walk and provides physical, sensory, and neurological stimulation. Funding will also provide scholarships for equine-facilitated learning and psychotherapy groups which are provided in collaboration with local non-profits serving the mental health needs of the region’s most vulnerable populations. During the 8-week sessions, participants work directly with horses while engaging in a group process to help overcome challenges in their lives.
Grants awarded to 44 area nonprofits by The League Club of Naples, Florida total $415,387 to provide basic humanitarian needs. In a special Board session, the Board voted to release restrictions usually applied that grant distributions be spent on specific projects.
“A recent regional nonprofit survey indicated nearly all of our region’s nonprofits are experiencing disruptions to their programs and projects caused by the pandemic,” said League Club President Gigi Stewart. “Making these funds unrestricted in use is the best way The League Club can help the nonprofits that our membership voted to support and are proud to be flexible enough to address this need. We believe this is essential to human well-being in Collier and Lee counties.”
The recent cancellation of NTRC’s Kentucky Derby Day Party and uncertain future of its signature fundraiser, the Barn Dance, held annually in the Fall, have created an urgent need for funding for the care and maintenance of NTRC’s 14-horse therapy herd. In addition, NTRC expects participants who have been impacted financially by the quarantine will need more financial aid when programming is resumed.
“Through this loss of event income, coupled with the loss of anticipated program revenue, NTRC is faced with significant operational challenges for a minimum of four to five months,” said NTRC Executive Director Missy Lamont. “We are grateful for the League Club for their continued support of our participants and their flexibility during these trying times.”