(Southwest Florida) Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy, Inc. (SMART) is pleased to announce that they have received multiple grants and donations in January 2020 totaling $39,776.
- This includes an $11,200 grant from the Bank of America Client Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee to support Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Activities Scholarships for Children with Autism.
- SMART also received unrestricted donations of $16,000 from the Second Chance Foundation and $1,500 from the Manatee Memorial Foundation.
- The Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club donated $7,000 to support two Warriors in Transition sessions in the spring and to adopt two of SMART’s horses – Magic and Norman.
- The Norman and Phyllis Siskel Donor Advised Fund donated $4,076 to support the Warriors in Transition session and SMART’s Literacy program in February 2020.
“The generous support of these foundations and donors ensures that SMART continues to provide therapeutic riding and equine assisted learning to children, adults, and veterans living in southwest Florida. These programs enrich the lives of our participants daily, changing their lives forever. We could not keep our commitment to them without the continuing support of so many organizations and individuals” said Melissa Spillenkothen, Interim Executive Director of SMART.
Established in 1987, Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART) is a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted activities for individuals with disabilities. Located in eastern Manatee County, SMART is a mostly volunteer organization that served 459 individuals with disabilities in 2019, including people with a variety of challenges such as autism, attention deficit disorder, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome, as well as individuals with terminal illness, emotional or mental health conditions, and hearing, speech or vision impairments. In addition to therapeutic horseback riding and driving, SMART offers a literacy program and programs for veterans, at risk youth and teens, and victims of human trafficking. Volunteers age 14 and over are welcome to join the organization at any time after completing an orientation and training program.