REINS program gets donation from MCCD

REINS, Inc., the non-profit organization that offers equine-assisted activities and therapies to special needs individuals in Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Calumet counties has received a $20,000 donation from the Midwest Council for Children with Disabilities (MCCD).

MCCD representatives Rick Gunderson (secretary) and Dennis Fiedler (president), along with Lynn Shovan, who owns Lake Street CafĂ© in Elkhart Lake and heads up the MCCD Elkhart Lake Top Chef event in March, attended REINS’ annual meeting Feb. 4 to present the check to REINS’ board of directors.

“We are very pleased with the direction this board is taking REINS and with the progress they have made this past year,” said Fiedler. “We want to make sure that every student who wants to participate in REINS can, so we’d like to give REINS $20,000 towards rider scholarships.”

It costs REINS approximately $675 per student; however rider fees cover only about 29 percent of that amount. The non-profit organization depends on the generosity of benefactors and partners such as MCCD to be able to offer specialized programming led by PATH-certified instructors.

REINS will expand its programming this year by adding Equine Facilitated Learning classes to its regular Therapeutic Riding class schedule. Board member and programming chair, Tom Blankenheim, has been developing the EFL curriculum.

“At Reins we believe, and research supports, that when humans and horses come together a great opportunity for personal learning and growth takes place. We are here to provide those opportunities,” stated Blankenheim.

New officers were also elected at REINS’ annual meeting. They are Juanita Hazen, president; Stanley Kaymen, vice-president; Joe Koppelkam, treasurer; and Marie Schwin, secretary.

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