OPENS BARN DOORS TO PUBLIC
Palm City, FL -- More than 250 guests attended the Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation (ERAF) Open House on Saturday, May 31 at their new forever home at 6400 SW Martin Highway in Palm City. The 9-acre property is now home to 13 rescued horses, many of which are being trained and rehabilitated so they can be adopted in the near future. Additionally, there are three horses being cared for in foster care off of the property.
The gates opened at 10 am and the paddocks quickly filled with cars of families and supporters eager to see the horses and hear about the future plans of the non-profit.
ERAF is the only horse sanctuary in the immediate south Florida area that offers care and shelter to horses abused by neglect, and irresponsible breeding and feeding.
When the Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO’s) deputies find abused horses, they call upon ERAF. In May 2013, they contacted ERAF to arrange for the negotiated surrender and transfer of seven horses and four donkeys, which resulted in the doubling of ERAF’s animal population in one day. In the past 13 months, ERAF has taken in 15 horses from the MCSO’s negotiated intakes and has successfully adopted out 11 in the past year alone.
Guests brought blankets and chairs and sat in the shade of the trees to watch the parade of horses and a horsemanship and magic show.
Donations were gratefully accepted for new fence planks, as the entire property needs to re-fenced. Donors signed Top Rail Club labels that will be laminated and affixed to the new planks.
ERAF president Randy Kinder thanked everyone in attendance for their interest and commented that although she enjoys working with the horses and staff, her greatest pleasure comes from working with the horses. Randy noted, “ They are responsible for many wonderful things. Horses have been the mainstay of our country. They plow fields, pull carriages, help fight wars, provide us with pleasure and yet they endure abuse from us”.
Marilynn Vannucci, treasurer and community relations board member recognized several people whose support had a major impact on the acquisition of the new property: attorney Jeffrey Kirsch, Mary Morris and realtor Priscilla Baldwin. Board member Denise LeClair Robbins was also lauded for her financial backing that allowed ERAF to purchase the property along financial assistance from an anonymous donor. Betty Lahti of Palm City was also thanked for her significant contribution.
Other volunteers recognized were ERAF vice president Elaine Hines, Carrie Fleishman, Pam Iman, Linda Dulac, Sari Caouette, Michelle Goycovick, Jane Smith, Dolores Kennedy, Jim Ausem, Charlene Sabin, Mr. Heuser, Trish Heuser, Red Turmel, Jeff Sabin, John Camerlingo and the Mancills.
Sponsors for the event included Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and TC Palm who provided print advertising and the law office of Goldstein, Schmitt and Cambron who provided free advertising on their digital billboard. Beverly Bevis Jones of BB Jones Communications was also recognized for her ongoing public relations services. Kiki’s Italian Ice also sold refreshments and donated a portion of the proceeds to ERAF,
The property includes nine paddocks, 12 stalls, a storage barn and a lighted arena. Six more stalls will be built when donations are received.
All the expenses of caring for these abused horses are the responsibility of ERAF.
The veterinary care, farrier, equine dentist, medications, feed, hay, stall bedding, grooming, rehabilitation and re-training are expenses ERAF is able to pay mainly through funding received from donations. ERAF presently receives no government assistance and is dependent upon grants and private donations.
If you are interested in volunteering or fostering a horse, please visit their website at www.eraf.org for more information. Volunteer jobs are available for adults and for youth with adult supervision. Lunch and Learn workshops are held the first Saturday of every month for volunteer education. Check website calendar for holiday schedules. The workshops provide ongoing equine care and handling education for active volunteers.