As we announced in our last blog, this coming Sunday, January 26th marks MeloTel Founder and CEO, John Meloche’s 40th birthday. However, if you ask the big boss, the big day isn’t about him. He’s intent on raising money for WETRA (Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Riding Association) as part of his milestone birthday celebration. To do that, he’s humbly asking for donations on Facebook via an initiative known simply as John’s Birthday Fundraiser.
We neglected to mention, in our last blog, that John is committed to matching every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $1000. It’s our hope, of course, that John will be able to exceed his objective and offer WETRA a fantastic donation in honour of his turning the big 4-0 this Sunday. As you may already be aware, WETRA is an organization that offers therapy horses to those contending with mental, emotional and physical difficulties.
Back then, it was known as WARH (Windsor Association of Riding for the Handicapped). The organization has the distinction of being the first Canadian-based association to offer horses as means of therapy. Incorporated in 1973, WARH gained recognition as a Registered Canadian Charitable Organization.
In 1995, WARH changed its name to WETRA in order to better describe the area it serves and the services it provides. These days, WETRA employs both a full-time and a part-time staff. They include CanTRA (Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association) certified instructors, an Occupational Therapist, a mental health professional and about 100 weekly volunteers.
Pictured above, Scout is a 15 year-old horse that has officially been sponsored by MeloTel. We announced our company’s sponsorship of this wonderful animal back in November. We’re happy to report that thanks, in part, to MeloTel’s sponsoring of Scout, he is doing amazingly well.
Included in the cost of Scout’s care are feed, bedding, farrier (foot care), veterinary costs, medication and supplements. In addition to keeping all of WETRA’s horses healthy and fed, sponsorships also help to cover the costs of the manpower hours needed to train and care for the herd. As we’ve noted before, the horses at WETRA have proven to be vital to the betterment of the emotional and mental health of those who ride them.
Our blogs have also noted before that John’s brother, Robb works for WETRA and John’s neice, Shaya is a first-hand recipient of Scout’s therapeutic benefits. Having ridden Scout herself, she knows how joyful horse riding can be. For individuals who require specialized support for their emotional needs, WETRA’s therapeutic horses are literal dreams come true.
“Therapeutic riding lessons provide individuals with disabilities and special needs the opportunity to ride horses,” informs the WETRA website, “The focus of lessons is to develop riding specific skills and play mounted games, while in a safe accessible leisure setting. The goal is to have the student control or influence the horse’s movement, speed, and direction by using verbal (or adapted) cues, reins, and/or physical cues.”
At the time of this writing, John’s Birthday Fundraiser has nearly reached the halfway point of its $1000 goal! Please donate generously today!