MONTROSE – Turnout was lower than expected for the Denim & Diamonds fundraiser last week, and while proceeds from the benefit were more than last year, more is still needed. The event at the Montrose Pavilion raised money for the End of the Trail Rescue Sanctuary and Dream Catcher Therapy Center.
Money raised from the event will be enough to feed about 40 horses at sanctuary through the winter, said co-founder Kathy Hamm, but the return from the fundraiser could have been better.
Publicity for the event brought in many people who had not attended before, Hamm said, but many regulars didn’t show up.
“The turnout was only two-thirds what we normally had, and a lot of people who had promised to come weren’t there,” she said.
But it’s not too late to help out, she said, and people can still sponsor a horse for a year, help furnish a recreation room for veterans who are benefiting from the therapy center or contribute toward a much-needed horse trailer.
“We still need sponsorships for horses, which is $500 annually,” Hamm said. Each sponsor will get a plaque with a photo of the horse they sponsor, along with a story on where the horse came from and updates every six months, Hamm said. The sponsorship will buy a ton-and-a-half of hay, veterinarian visits twice and year, and farrier work four times a year.
“That doesn’t cover the total cost of care for the horse, but it helps,” she said.
As for the veterans’ center, Hamm got a surprise call last week that the Morgridge Charitable Trust is donating $3,000 to furnish a room for veterans at the center where they get group therapy twice a month and have a place to socialize.
The money from the trust will pay for tiling the concrete floor, furniture and a coffeepot, Hamm said, but more is needed to make it complete.
“We still need another $1,500 to $2,000 to get a flat screen TV and a DVD player,” she said, “and we want to be able to get coffee and donuts for the guys.”
The room is available for use by families of veterans or members of the armed services.
“It’s also for kids and spouses, so if they (husbands or wives) get shipped overseas, they can come out and do stuff here,” she said.
The room should be complete in three to four weeks, Hamm said, and then she plans an open house Christmas party not only for the veterans but also for the public.
Another item that Hamm is saving for is a 25-foot horse padded horse trailer that can carry eight to 10 horses at a time. Hamm said she could use the large rubber-padded trailer for transporting wild horse who might injure themselves in smaller trailers, to help people who are “foster parents” for horses get them to the veterinarian for checkups and treatment, and even for therapeutic trail rides.
“For horses that haven’t been touched or are injured, they will go into a stock trailer a whole lot better than a slant load trailer,” she said. “It will be loaded with rubber so they won’t be bouncing around, and it’s extra tall and extra wide.”
Hamm said she often gets calls from people who have injured an horse but no way to get it to the vet unless she helps the out with the big trailer, and that she hopes that local businesses will come to the rescue.
“If they donate $2,000 to the horse trailer, their [company] name goes on the horse trailer – a great marketing tool,” she said. To learn more about Dream Catcher programs, call 970/323-5400 or log onto to the website at dctc.org.
Dream Catcher Therapy Center provides equine therapy for children and adults with disabilities as well as veterans, and the sanctuary offers abused and neglected horses a chance to be nurtured and cared for.
The center has helped more than 1,200 disabled children and adults, many of them veterans, since it opened in 1999. The center also had been approved as a Special Olympic Equestrian Center and just this year the horse sanctuary received verification status from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.