DALLAS – January 31, 2018 – Approximately 50 guests gathered at the ultimate retro designer home of Greg Nieberding for the Boots & Salutes patron party benefiting Equest’s fastest growing program, Hooves for Heroes. Amongst the 1950’s décor, wine, and hors d’oeuvres, guests learned about the healing power of the horse and the human-horse connection through a panel discussion led by Dr. John Burruss, CEO of Metrocare, the largest provider of mental health services in Dallas County, serving more than 57,000 adults and children annually. Equest’s Hooves for Heroes program helps warriors and their family members achieve optimum wellness and successfully transition to civilian life through equine-facilitated therapies and activities.
The panel – featuring Dr. Burruss, veteran Joe Lucido, Equest Director of Clinical and Veterans Services Jeff Hensley, and Equest Program Counselor Christa Collum – discussed numerous topics including mental health challenges veterans face upon their return from deployment and what is preventing some veterans from seeking help.
Said Hensley, "Over the past six years, over 900 veterans and military family members have come to Equest, many struggling with identity issues, PTSD, depression, or other issues making their transition to civilian life more challenging. At Equest, we leverage equine therapy and the support of their peers to empower veterans and equip them with the tools to help.”
Equest CEO Lili Kellogg also announced another reason for celebration. The Joe M. and Doris R. Dealey Family Foundation pledged $100,000 per year for three years to Equest Hooves for Heroes. Joe Dealey, a 29-year Army veteran who continues to donate his time at the VA hospital, and daughter Beverly Dealey were both in attendance.
Additional attendees included Equest Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser, Equest Co-founder Susan Schwartz, Ban and Kathleen Bywaters, Louise Griffeth, Boots & Salutes Chair Carolyn Anderson, and WFFA reporter Sonia Azad, among others.
Boots & Salutes, a USO-style fundraiser for Equest’s fastest growing program, Hooves for Heroes, will be held for its second year on July 20, 2018 at Equest at Texas Horse Park (811 Pemberton Hill Road, Building #4, Dallas, TX 75217). Led by Chair Carolyn Anderson, the festivities include an aerial salute by WWII aircrafts, live Frank Sinatra-inspired music, dancing, auction, food and drink, and a tribute to both our nation’s heroes and Equest’s heroes, the therapy horses. For more information, visit www.equest.org/boots.
Founded in 1981, Equest provides equine facilitated activities, 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 learning, therapeutic carriage driving, therapeutic horsemanship and competition. With the help of 36 therapy horses, 10 instructors, four therapists, two counselors, and 400 volunteers, lives are changed on a daily basis for more than 3,000 clients 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 40,000 hours of direct program service opportunities each year. www.equest.org