Therapeutic horse ranch celebrates 15 years in Weidman

Fifteen years of offering free animal-based therapy to the physically-, mentally-, and emotionally-challenged among us. That’s what HopeWell Ranch will be celebrating later this month as the non-profit organization nears a decade-and-a-half of existence.

HopeWell Ranch is a Weidman-based therapy farm that works with children, adults, veterans, and families. The farm offers therapeutic horsemanship programming as well as access to goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, cats, and dogs.

A 15th anniversary party is scheduled for Sunday, May 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

"Fifteen years means so very much to me. For fifteen years we’ve been offering hope, healing, love, and unconditional acceptance," says HopeWell co-founder and executive director Jodi Stuber.

"Sometimes when dealing with challenges people don’t feel like they fit in. We’re here to offer unconditional love and encourage them that they have purpose."

To celebrate, the United Way of Gratiot & Isabella Counties has offered to match up to $15,000 in donations designated to HopeWell Ranch throughout the month of May.

The party itself will feature guest speaker Dr. Pol, of television’s Nat Geo Wild fame. The Palooka Brothers Band will provide live music and entertainment. Also planned are ranch tours, face-painting activities, and more.

Food trucks will be on hand, with appearances from Maxon’s Blue Country Barbeque, Cruisin’ Chef, and The Grub Hub. Custard from Culver’s and cake from Lake Isabella’s A Bite to Eat bakery will also be provided.

"It’s fantastic that the community supports us," Stuber says.

"We just want people to come celebrate with us."

Donations are accepted online or text the word HOPEWELL to 91999.

HopeWell Ranch is located at 6410 W. Leiter Rd. in Weidman.

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