Volunteers are invited to participate in the EQUUS Foundation's Champion program, an incentive-based equine service program to stimulate and reward volunteerism on behalf of horses. Individuals achieving Champion status (volunteering 24+ hours in a year at an approved charity that changes the live of people and horses) become eligible to receive Champion benefits, including the opportunity for scholarships to further their academic education and gifts from Ariat International. Ride On St. Louis is pleased to recognize Champions; Olivia Apollo, Laurie Baan, Maria Crenshaw, Jean Griffard, Debbie Harre, Kimberly Kruse, Joseph Lehn, Ron Petersen, Ken Schatz, Melinda Schweppe, BriAnn Session, Patience Sprow, & Sue Stinehart.
This quarter, through a random drawing of Champions, EQUUS Foundation awarded Kimberly Kruse a $270 gift card from Ariat International for her volunteer work at Ride On St. Louis. Kimberly shares that, "I was pretty much born with a love of horses. I began riding at the age of seven through weekly summer camps... at 14, I got a job working a newspaper route so that I could afford my very own horse. Cherokee and I competed in barrel racing for all four years of high school, until I went away to college to study Animal Science/Equine Science. I was a member of the Truman State University Equestrian Team and also worked at a nearby Arabian breeding farm/boarding stable, as the assistant manager. Life moved me away from working with horses for a few years, until I heard about the devastating flood damage that the Ride On St. Louis facilities had suffered, and I reached out to offer help. Since then, I have become a regular volunteer on Sunday mornings, helping with the chores and upkeep of the grounds. It's a small part of the broader work that Ride On St. Louis does, but I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to give some of my time to an organization that has such a positive impact on the lives of its clients and their families."
Congratulations Kimberly and all our Champions! Thank you for the work you are doing to improve lives of both humans and horses!