The newest Fjord with the North Fraser Therapeutic Riding Association. (NFTRA Facebook/Special to The News)

The newest Fjord with the North Fraser Therapeutic Riding Association. (NFTRA Facebook/Special to The News)

Association offering equine therapy in Maple Ridge to host a Winter Open House Fundraiser

Event will be held on Dec. 12

The North Fraser Therapeutic Riding Association (NFTRA), will be hosting a Winter Open House Fundraiser this weekend.

The organization, which offers therapeutic equine programming for children and adults, is hosting an open house and a silent auction on Dec. 12 from 11 to 3 p.m., said Lisa Couture, its volunteer office manager.

”We have to fundraise all year! In a non-COVID year we typically have a Pub Night Fundraiser at the Ranch Pub and Grill in November, where we host a silent auction. We were not able to host that event this year so decided to combine a year-end event with a silent auction component and a Winter Wonderland theme!” she said.

“We were so grateful to run a session and wanted to celebrate. We are looking to raise money but also celebrate the past year together with our NFTRA family and our Maple Ridge Community.”

According to Couture, the past two years have been very challenging for the organization. They had to close their doors at the peak of the pandemic and had to rely on a limited staff to carry on the duties of caring for their herd and property.

“Our staff is amazing and stepped up to plate with kindness and diligence,” she said.

Financially, the organization depends on grants, sponsorships and donations to survive and then offers subsidized lesson fees to enable as many riders as possible to participate in their program.

“That means we have to fundraise throughout the year. We are still operating thanks to the generous donations we have received this year. But we are facing another calendar year of searching for funds, so every little bit helps. Everyone who donates to us is helping to ensure we can provide therapeutic horseback riding to children and adults with diverse needs,” said Couture.

It will be a ticketed event with $10 for adults and $5 for children, and people will need to purchase their tickets in advance, through the office, by calling 604-462-7787. However, the event is almost at capacity.

ALSO READ: Lower Mainlanders suffering from grief or anxiety can sign up for horse-riding therapy

The Winter Wonderland will feature a decorated arena with Santa arriving on his sleigh with his mini-ponies, and will be available for socially distanced photos by donation. At the same time the silent auction will be held inside the arena with donated items from the event’s supporters.

“I’m a proud Volunteer of the NFTRA and a Maple Ridge resident. I’m so proud that our community has the NFTRA to serve clients from all over the lower mainland. Therapeutic horseback riding provides so many benefits to riders and their families,” said Couture, adding, “When someone donates to us, their money goes directly to facilitating these lessons and helping keep our organization alive. It is money well spent because you help fund miracles.”

ALSO READ: Horses at Maple Ridge riding school ride out heat wave thanks to extra love and care


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