Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) is proud to announce that the non-profit organization recently received a $25,000 grant from the FTI Great Charity Challenge. In previous years, the Great Charity Challenge has only consisted of those charities drawn for the competition-an opportunity that has always escaped HHH. It was one phone call that changed their luck that Sunday, January 6, 2013.
The Great Charity Challenge distributes over $1 million in prizes to competing charity teams. Thirty-one charities have been selected to participate in the 2013 Challenge. The night of the Trump Invitational Grand Prix, Horses Healing Hearts was called and told that they were drawn as the winner of the ‘surprise grant.’
Even though Horses Healing Hearts was not selected to participate in the competition, “We ended up getting the grant,” Liz Olszewski, Founder and Executive Director of Horses Healing Hearts smiled. “This was the first time anything like this has happened for the Great Charity Challenge.”
The night of the original drawing, Julia, one of the participants from Horses Healing Hearts and a fan of Margie Engle, received Engle’s autograph and then later walked back to get a hug from her hero. That night, the same little girl was thrown a second place ribbon from Todd Minikus as she stood by the fence line. Shocked, Julia held it up to give back to him, and Minikus just smiled and cantered away.
“Even though we didn’t get drawn that night, I remember walking away from that event thinking that that seeing the look on Julia’s face when she got the hug and the ribbon was our gift this year; there’s always next year to reapply.. little did I know what surprise would soon be coming our way!” said Olszewski.
“They’ll remember these things forever. They’re so inspired when they watch these events,” added Olszewski “Every year, our kids walk away asking, ‘can we be in that arena one day?’ and we answer ‘Absolutely, with a lot of hard work and dedication, you can do whatever you set your mind to.’ We’re very grateful the FTI Great Charity Challenge exists – it’s just incredible.”
Horses Healing Hearts wasn’t eligible three years ago for the Challenge as they didn’t have enough time as a charity to participate. The organization has applied to participate for the last two years, but have yet to be picked. Although some of the volunteers have grown dismayed at times as their charity continues to sit idly in the drawing, Olszewski has assured them that reapplying is the only way to increase their chances. Even though they were not chosen for the competition this year, Horses Healing Hearts is thrilled to have received the FTI Great Charity Challenge Grant.
The grant will be awarded at the jump off during the FTI Great Charity Challenge on January 26th. Horses Healing Hearts is a 501 (c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to bettering the lives of children of alcoholics and substance abuse through equine experiential learning. To learn more about Horses Healing Hearts or how you can help with donations of money or time, log onto www.HHHUSA.org or email Liz Olszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (561) 713-6133.
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