HorsePower Therapeutic Riding, a nonprofit based out of Maple Park, will host its sixth annual Big Bowling Fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 24 at St. Charles Bowl, 2520 W. Main St., St. Charles.
This annual Big Bowling Fundraiser is its largest fundraiser of the year that supports student scholarships, equipment and program expenses for the therapeutic horseback riding lessons the organization offers to children and adults with disabilities. Last year’s event raised more than $38,000.
“Therapeutic riding has been used since the Roman times,” Carrie Capes, founder of HorsePower, said. “It has been proven that riding a horse helps strengthen balance, endurance and coordination.”
She went on to mention the not-so-obvious benefits that include personal empowerment, independence and confidence.
“Some of these children and adults will never be able to drive a car, so it’s quite empowering to be in charge of a 1,000 pound animal," Capes said.
The organization utilizes 11 horses in the program, for 55 riders and has four instructors – all of whom are Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship certified.
The event will include bowling for approximately 125 bowlers and another 100 non-bowlers will attend. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, face painter, cupcake table and free pizza and soda.
“Our 50/50 raffle winner went home with $6,000 last year,” Capes said. “If you can’t attend the event, it’s worth it to buy some tickets ahead of time!”
Both bowlers and non-bowlers will need to purchase a ticket to attend. Bowling tickets for adults cost $25 and tickets for children cost $15. Non-bowler tickets cost $20. Children younger than 3 years old get in for free. There will be two bowling sessions, from noon to 2 p.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through TicketLeap at hp2018.ticketleap.com. Capes encourages everyone to buy their tickets early, as this event sells out every year.
“We will also be having a trophy and awards session for HorsePower riders and volunteers at 2 p.m. the day of the event between bowling sessions,” Capes said. “Each rider will get a participation trophy from the year."
For those that cannot attend the event, but would like to help or purchase 50/50 raffle tickets, HorsePower is accepting donations for the silent auction and raffle, and there are also sponsorship opportunities still available. Contact Capes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-508-0804 for more information.
“We are so grateful to the tremendous support of the community and look forward to a big turnout at this event and hope to raise even more money than last year,” Capes said.