Monthly news & updates
June 2022
Session Updates
Summer Session

Click the link below to sign up to volunteer for the Summer Session! I know summers can be busy for everyone, but we haven't had a lot of volunteers sign up yet, and it's going to be a big session! Here's a few numbers for you:

100 Therapeutic Riding Clients!
16 HEARTS Clients!
10 Brand New Clients!

Here's how you can help!

--Sign up for one extra class this summer! If every volunteer did this, think of the impact that would make!!

--Invite a friend to attend volunteer training in June! If we could recruit 18 volunteers for the Summer Session, that would cover a full evening of classes for our special riders!!

Thank you for all of your help in every session. We couldn't do this without all of you, and we are so grateful for your dedication and support!

A Thursday 9:30 class has been added to the schedule for Summer.
Recreational Ride- Volunteers Needed!
Wednesday, June 29

Our next rec ride is on the calendar! Please join us if you are able. This will be a 90-minute experience, with students rotating between three stations. We will need volunteers here by 9:15 to help groom/saddle the horses before the rec ride begins. If you can help, please email Katie Lu soon! Thank you!
Training & Education
New Volunteer Training

We've got six new volunteers signed up for training in June! If you'd like to "re-take" the training to brush up on your own skills, let me know soon to reserve your spot!

Saturday, June 18, 9am-12pm
Monday, June 20, 5pm-8pm

If interested in attending, please fill out the sign-up form by clicking the link below.

Please feel free to share this link with your friends!

Training Video:
Common Leader Mistakes

This month we are putting some focus on fine-tuning our horse leader skills by discussing five common mistakes Instructors see in class. This is NOT to point out anything negative, but rather a tool for our volunteers so that we can keep our horses comfortable, give them clear directions, and most importantly, keep our volunteers and riders SAFE! Thank you for continuing to improve your knowledge by watching these training videos!
Garden Work Day!
Wednesday, June 8

Do you have a green thumb and a willing attitude? Come help out at our next Garden Work Day! Our two Master Gardeners, Sue and Kathy will be here to get the garden summer-ready. Please join us!! We need a lot of help that day to get everything accomplished, so if you can spare some time, we would appreciate it! Feel free to bring a friend along to help as well! The more the merrier!

*Please bring your own garden tools if you have them.

Email Katie Lu if you can help! Thank you!
Event Updates
The "Mane" Event Golfing for SMILES
Wednesday, June 22 at Hawks View Golf Club

We are still looking for some support for our biggest fundraiser of the year! Here's some ways you can help:

--Volunteer at the event! No golfing experience is required, and we have lots of different jobs depending on your availability. Click the button below to sign up to volunteer!
--Donate a bottle of wine for the Wine Pull or a gift card for the Gift Card Tree! Both must be a value of at least $25, and should be dropped off at the SMILES facility by June 10.
--Participate in our Basket Building Competition! SMILES volunteers and clients can work together to create amazing baskets for the silent auction! SMILES will assemble the baskets- we just need your help in donating products for the baskets! We have created a theme for each date of the week:

Monday Classes: "Man Cave Basket"
Items associated with tools, outdoors, "manly" items!

Tuesday Classes: "Beach Life Basket"
Items associated with water fun, time at the beach, picnics, etc.

Wednesday & Friday Classes: "Movie Time Basket"
Items associated with movies, snacks, Disney, etc.

Thursday Classes: "Winter Basket"
Items associated with winter, cozy items, warm coffee/tea, etc.

Saturday Classes: "Gardening Basket"
Items associated with gardening, outdoor tools, etc.
Any items will be helpful! We will keep track of whichever basket wins the most money for SMILES and will announce it after the event!

**Please have items to SMILES no later than June 10th.
July Open Benefit Horse Show
July 16 & 17, Walworth County Fairgrounds

Interested in volunteering at a horse show and watching some beautiful horses at their best in the show ring? Come join us at the Open Benefit Horse Show! No horse showing experience is required, and we have many volunteer positions to fill. This is a 2-day event, so the more hands we can have, the better. Click the button below to sign-up! Thank you!

**This is a different sign-up than what was sent in the May Newsletter. Like with golf, we needed to make this more generic to allow better flexibility for our volunteers. Please look at the opportunities below and sign up for what you are interested. We will do our best to get you in the position you want!
June Volunteer Spotlight
June Spotlight is on....Barb Anderson!!

How did you become involved with SMILES, and how long have you been volunteering?

When I moved to Fontana, my neighbor was volunteering at SMILES and told me about it. I have always loved horses and I have worked with kids & adults with disabilities for years so I thought SMILES would be a perfect fit for me. I started volunteering in January 2022 for the Winter Session and I have loved every minute of it! 
Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Kenosha.

Who is your favorite horse at SMILES and why?

Lincoln is my favorite horse right now because I have worked with him each Tuesday. He really can be described as a Gentle Giant. 

If you were gifted a million dollars, what would you do with it?

I would surprise my husband with an early retirement nest egg. He has worked very hard over the years and now commutes over an hour to work each day to allow us to live in this area. I would also share some of the money with my children and agencies in the community like SMILES.
What is something you like to do in June?

I look forward to June because it is usually warm enough for my husband and I to go out on the boat & just relax. I also like working in my yard planting flowers or just sitting on my patio with a good book. 

What do you enjoy about volunteering at SMILES?

I enjoy SMILES because I love to see the joy that it brings the rider each week. I spent time at a horse ranch as a kid each summer and rode when I could on vacations but never knew how to care for a horse. I am learning something new each week at SMILES & I am building confidence in working with horses. A few years ago, if someone would have told me that I would learn how to saddle a horse, I wouldn’t have believed it but here I am saddling a horse. SMILES is really a dream come true for me!

Is there anything else you'd like your fellow volunteers to know?

I would just like to thank all of the volunteers at SMILES. They are super kind and helpful and super dedicated to this program. I can’t say enough about how happy I am to be part of such a great team of people. I would also say the same for the staff at SMILES who are very professional and work so hard to ensure the riders are safe, challenged, and enjoying their time at SMILES.
Horse Updates!
Meet Sarah!

Introducing SMILES’ newest and LARGEST herd member, Sarah! This gentle giant has come to us from a family near the Richland Center area who raises Belgian horses. Sarah spent her younger years being a mom and giving rides to the grand kids. As she got a little older, she no longer was able to be used for breeding and was too good of a girl to just sit in a pasture. Because of her gentle and quiet nature, the family thought she would be a great fit for therapeutic riding. If you have had the chance to visit with Sarah, you know that she is calm, sweet, and TALL! Be sure to look for Sarah in class during Summer Session as she learns the ropes of being a therapy horse. Good luck, Sarah! 
More Horse Updates!

To read the bios of some of our other recent additions to the SMILES herd, make sure to read the latest edition of the Hoofprints Newsletter! Click the button below if you haven't already read this issue!
June Birthdays at SMILES!
Happy Birthday!
Ron Peters, June 26
Marcy Mielke, June 9
Kim Soeth, June 30
Find us online!
SMILES transcends traditional therapeutic methods by offering individuals with special needs the joy of participating in an equine-assisted program which provides social, emotional, physical and personal rewards.