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A bathroom for CHUM

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I am the father of two children, one of which has Down Syndrome.  About 8 years ago, my son (with Down Syndrome) was referred to a therapeutic horse back riding center called CHUM Therapeutic Riding, or just CHUM for short, to supplement his current physical and occupational therapy.  Little did we know, this referral was going to impact our entire family in epic proportion! 

I'll admit my wife and I were pretty skeptical - riding horses is for pleasure, not therapy, right?  We could not have been more wrong.  Since beginning his therapy, my son has required lower doses the medications that help food pass through his stomach and intestines (some of which have really scary side effects).  He has walked, jumped, climbed, and achieved countless more physical milestones,  as much as years sooner than expected by his doctors.  If that wasn't enough, he has developed a sense of accomplishment from "driving" his horse around the barn that is impossible to put into words but is bound to warm your heart (see the pic of my son below with his therapist, Bonnie Depue, happily displaying an award he won). 


I could go on and on about my son, and don't even get me started about how CHUM has changed my daughter, who is not disabled, or this will quickly turn into a novel!  However, this GoFundMe page is not about me or my family, so please read on to learn about the this amazing therapeutic riding center and a project I hope you will consider supporting!

Children and Horses United in Movement or C.H.U.M. Therapeutic Riding Inc. is a non-profit therapeutic horseback riding center that has introduced many a child (including mine of course) and adult to the world of horses and the gifts these magnificent animals offer.  It has always been clear that CHUM is a God driven, faith built, grace guided program where individuals with and without disabilities share and develop their love for horses. In this process, we see ‘life lessons’ occurring in the barn, victories over challenges, hope over despair, and relationship building in trust and love.  To learn more about CHUM, check out the testimonials from families, read the stories shared, and browse the pictures of the lives being changed every day, on the CHUM Facebook Page or the CHUM Webpage.

About 10 years ago, Wick Buildings and Lynnman Construction, and their sub contractors, helped put up an indoor heated arena with donations and discounts and love and tears.  Now we are able to have our therapy sessions all year long - rain, snow, cold, etc.  CHUM has been richly blessed to have such a beautiful finished heated indoor arena to provide service in! 

However, during the past 10 years we have hiked approximately 150 yards to the house to 'go potty', in any weather; rain snow, heat, mud, sleet, ice, etc.  To give you an idea of what 150 yards looks like, here is a picture from the arena to the bathroom (in the house) after a rainstorm made the driveway nice and muddy...

...and from the bathroom to the arena in the winter...

As you might imagine, the weather can make you rethink how badly you need the facilities in the house :)!  And for our friends in wheel chairs, on crutches, using walkers, and/or any number of other assitive devices, 150 yrds is a long way through rain, snow, mud, slippery grass, and whatever else nature decides to dish out.

CHUM recently received exciting news that may mean the end of the long hikes to the bathroom!  There is a sponsor who is offering a matching grant to fund a facility expansion including...wait for it...yes, a BATHROOM in the indoor riding arena!!  The donor will match up to $60,000 (for a total budget of $120,000).  The expansion will run down the side of the building and in addition to the bathroom, will include space for the horses to wait inside instead of at the tie pole outside, a treatment room, and an office space. 

As excited as we all are about this grant, there is one obstacle - we have to raise the $60,000 to match and we have to do it by April 2017.  CHUM puts 150% of their resources into caring for their horses and caring for their families so extra funds, especially with that many zeros, are not easy to come by.  There are so many blessings wrapped up in this huge gift, please consider a donation to help us make this project a reality!

Thank you,
Mat (a proud member of the CHUM family!)
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Donations 

  • Jennifer Stauffer
    • $125 
    • 7 yrs
  • Donations At The barn
    • $13,453 (Offline)
    • 7 yrs
  • Ingham County Mounted Division
    • $2,000 (Offline)
    • 7 yrs
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Organizer and beneficiary

Mat Edick
Organizer
Mason, MI
Bonnie DePue
Beneficiary

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