On Thursday, June 20th, despite the heavy downpours, 65 RTT staff and volunteers and family members gathered for RTT’s volunteer recognition event at St. Eiboh’s on Sebago Lake. Annually, Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center celebrates and recognizes the contributions of its volunteers. This year RTT had a lot to celebrate!
“In 2018, you helped RTT surpass the 100,000 volunteer hour mark,” Nick Doria, volunteer coordinator told the crowd. Doria noted that this reflects hours recorded since 2003 and he estimatesthat since RTT’s founding in 1998, the total number to be as much as 115,000 hours.
RTT volunteers contributed 10,592 hours of service in 2018, supporting client lessons, horse care, barn chores, administration and special events. Doria stated that “the collective contribution is valued at over $269,354.”
Executive Director, Sarah Bronson thanked the group and remarked that “We wouldn’t have the impact that we do without our amazing volunteers,” noting that “volunteers are a fundamental part of the organization allowing us to leverage limited staff and financial resources to provide equine assisted activities and therapies to more than 250 children and adults with disabilities each year.”
Bronson went on to add, “Riding To The Top would have to hire 6-7 full time staff to replace the work that our volunteers contribute each year.”
This year a total of twenty-four RTT volunteers received The President’s Volunteer Service Award:
Bronze Level Awardees (Adult 100-249 hours/Young Adult 100-174 hours): Christine Blackadar, Jo Blinick, Earle Bonney, Cindy Elder, Emma Evans, Trish Friant, Tony Girlando, Stacie Hamilton Waldron, Fran Maxwell, Liz Wood, Nancy Robinson
Silver Level Awardees (250 to 499 hours/Young Adult* 175-249 hours):
Janis Childs, Barbara Foster, Mark Fuller, Jodi Peasley, Bryony Urquhart, Trish Vaughan
Gold Level Awardees (500 or more hours/Young Adult 250 or more hours): Julia Hamilton, Lina Jordan,Sarah Miller ,Dan Morabito, Pat Niboli, Clayton Peters, Patty Shaw
Special recognition of outstanding service to RTT included: Clayton Peters (Volunteer of the Year); Lina Jordan and Gina Carbone (Youth Volunteer of the Year); Earle Bonney (Administrative Volunteer of the Year); Eve Abreu (Rookie of the Year Award); Patty Shaw (Volunteer (Horse) Schooler Award), Kate Fox (Barn Volunteer of the Year). Sarah Bronson presented a special award to Allie Mannette for Youth Philanthropist for her service in the community raising funds for RTT.