Wellington, FL – November 19, 2015 – Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) is a unique equine-assisted program aiding children whose lives have been affected by family members with alcoholism and addiction. Many of the children involved with Horses Healing Hearts are the victims of bullying, which is why HHH was proud to pair with the Quinton Aaron Foundation. This foundation was formed by Aaron to provide encouragement and resources for children facing bullying. Both programs are non-profits dedicated in their own unique ways to improving the well-being of children. On Friday, Nov. 13, and Saturday, Nov. 14, the two organizations came together to support this shared mission at the inaugural Cowboy Up for a Cause event.
On Friday evening, an elite group of Horses Healing Hearts supporters were invited to an exclusive cocktail party at the picturesque Mida Farm in Wellington, Fla. Victoria McCullough opened her home to the guests, welcoming them to her equestrian estate for a chance to meet Quinton Aaron, the star of ‘The Blind Side’, and learn more about the Quinton Aaron Foundation’s involvement with HHH.
Aaron sang a song for the group, prior to Mayor Bob Margolis and State Attorney Dave Aronberg’s proclamations to end bullying. Each of the politicians opened up to those in attendance about the trials and tribulations they faced as children and the impact that they hope the proclamations will have for the children of not only Palm Beach County, but also the state of Florida at large. Also in attendance was former Mayor of Wellington Tom Wenham, Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo, and Congressional Representative Alcee Hastings of Florida’s 20th congressional district.
Other speakers included former NFL football player Randy Grimes, of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as well as Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson, former NFL football linebacker of the Dallas Cowboys.
The following day from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Global Dressage facility in the Van Kampen Arena, the general public came out to enjoy an afternoon of cowboy-themed fun in support of HHH and the Quinton Aaron Foundation.
Upon arriving at the arena, spectators could take a seat to enjoy exhibitions including a roping demonstration, an abridged polo game, a dressage freestyle and a medieval style riding display.
10-goal polo player Sugar Erskine, the Equine Ambassador of HHH, helped present a demonstration of polo with Team Escue Polo facing off against Team World Polo News
Generously giving their time to showcase their equestrian sports through exhibitions was 10-goal polo player Sugar Erskine, the Equine Ambassador of HHH, in a demonstration of polo, with Team Escue Polo facing off against Team World Polo News. Australian dressage rider Kelly Layne with Udon “Noodles” performed to their creative freestyle focusing on a theme of hearts, apropos due to Noodles’ recent recovery from an operation at the University of Florida to correct his A-fib, just in time to make a bid for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2016. The final exhibition was delivered by the MacFarland family, Cattleman of 10x Ranch, while a Knight in Shining Armor, Henrik Szabados and the rescued Percheron Excalibur displayed medieval attire.
Outside the arena, guests could try their hand at line dancing, learning new moves from the afternoon’s DJ and instructor, Thomas Schweizer, or they could take the mechanical bull for a spin while trying to stay on the bull the longest.
While taking in all that the event had to offer, spectators may have also run into a few Disney characters, dressed in costume and available for photo ops and entertainment. The most popular photo opportunity of the day however was the chance to have a picture taken with the star of the movie ‘The Blind Side,’ Quinton Aaron, who also signed autographs.
Aaron kicked off the day’s events with a powerful singing of the national anthem, while Miss Rodeo Florida Princess 2016 Alexandra Ally Skye or “Ally Cat” galloped the American flag around the arena with the stars and stripes flowing behind her as the Palm Beach County Mounted Police followed close behind in the opening parade. Honorary Co-Chairs of the event, State Attorney Aronberg and Roxanne Cella addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support.
Also in attendance for the second day of the event was Wellington Mayor Bob Margolis, who joined Florida State Attorney Aronberg in presenting the community with a proclamation declaring November 14, 2015 to be a National Day to End Bullying.
Randy Grimes, an HHH Board Member, and 10-year NFL Veteran of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, commented, “I think this weekend’s events were a huge success. Horses Healing Hearts partnering with The Quinton Aaron Foundation was instrumental in raising both awareness and funds for the at risk children of Palm Beach County. The impact of bullying both on the general population of kids as well as children of alcoholics and addicts was brought to the forefront, so we can better educate on how to deal with it.”
Horses Healing Hearts is a unique equine-assisted program aiding children whose lives have been affected by family members with alcoholism and addiction.
Cowboy Up for a Cause would not have been possible without the support of its many generous sponsors, including top supporters Marysue Jacobs of Destiny International Properties and RV Sales of Broward. Horses Healing Hearts also wishes to thank RoxWorld, Lifestyle Magazine, TheraPlate, Wild West Diner, Accurate Collision, O’Neill Brothers Flooring, Wells Fargo, The Tackeria, The Wanderers Club, Princess Parties and Special Events, and Cloutier Brothers, Inc. for their support.
Both Horses Healing Hearts and the Quinton Aaron Foundation are incredibly thankful for the hardworking committee members of Cowboy Up for A Cause, Abbi and Evan Bentz (co-chairs) and Susan Shelly (sponsorship director).
To learn more about Horses Healing Hearts visitwww.HHHUSA.org.