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Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center pivots fundraiser plans due to pandemic

Development director cites need for 2nd indoor arena: 'We need their support now more than ever.'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center in Bend serves people in Central Oregon with disabilities and special needs through 'healing with horses'. It typically relies on its annual 'Diamonds and Dust' gala to fund those healing services.

But the pandemic has challenged their plans, and they've canceled the in-person event for the second year in a row.

The event is now a four-day virtual silent auction.

Ali Burke, development director at Healing Reins, told NewsChannel 21 they have enough horses, but they need an indoor space to accommodate more people.

"We have the horses, we have the resources to continue to bring new folks and new participants on-site," Burke said Tuesday. "But the need really is to be able to have another second indoor arena, so that we can be able to offer year-round services."

Burke says the need for therapeutic services has gotten larger -- but so has the waitlist.

Healing Reins currently serves about 170 people. With another indoor arena, they can get some people into programs and off that waitlist.

"We could easily throw another 30 riders in an indoor arena on a weekly basis," Burke says.

The virtual event begins Wednesday and lasts until Friday. For more information about the fundraiser, you can visit their site here.

Bend / Central Oregon / Local News / Top Stories / Videos
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Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.


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