Jim had passion in everything he set his mind to, and he supported others in their passions, too. Shortly after Ride On St. Louis was founded in 1998, Jim had heard the organization was in need of a pony to serve more child clients.
Without hesitation, Jim offered to buy Ride On St. Louis the perfect pony for the role. And that's how our beloved little Juan "Diego" joined the team in 2001.
Diego (the Spanish name for James) is named in honor of Jim (James Lipsmire) and St. Juan Diego. An avid volunteer, Jim ushered at his parish mass for 50 years and had a love for animals and others. Jim was always there for anyone who needed help, and now 21 years later, his Diego is still changing lives at Ride On St. Louis. Diego is a favorite of many clients and new volunteers, as he is gentle, patient, and always Mr. Professional at his special job.
Through Jim's generosity, Diego has served countless children (and adults). From igniting a passion for horses for youth in our Summer Camps, to helping children build strength to talk their first steps, to providing a loving presence for people with mental and psychiatrics health obstacles, Jim's gift of Diego continues to touch the lives of many. Jim lived a life filled with positivity, love, and dedication, and we all will continue to be inspired by his legacy.