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SPIRIT Annual Report 2019
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Annual Report - 2019

Programs & Who We Served

Therapeutic Riding

The THERAPEUTIC RIDING PROGRAM serves mostly children and youth, with a wide range of special needs and disabilities. This program helps participants achieve therapeutic goals, such as muscle tone normalization and posture; improvement of gross and fine motor skills and balance.  Additionally, it helps to increase social skills and self confidence.  Most participants, in this program, are children aged 3-10; we also serve adults. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, and developmental delay are the most common conditions we see.  This program served 86 participants, with 1,045 service hours.

Equine Assisted Learning

The EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING Program  serves to improve basic life skills such as self control, teamwork, leadership, emotional intelligence and work ethic.

This is a very popular program,which has different formats, from group workshops to independent volunteer activities, in support of SPIRIT.  This program served 101 participants, with 1,843 service hours.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

The Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Program is designed for individuals and families.  Its approach incorporates interactions with horses into mental and behavioral therapy. This program can be used to help with behavioral issues, eating disorders, abuse, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and PTSD.  This program served 18 individuals and one family, with 280 service hours.


Therapeutic Horsemanship (started 2019)

The Therapeutic Horsemanship is new, started in late 2019, designated for participants who can not use our therapeutic riding program.  It has been designed for individuals or small groups.  It is a program facilitated by a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. This program is unmounted, where participants practice ground work and horse care. It has been used to improve basic life skills: focusing, orientation, emotional intelligence, boundary setting, self control, communication, social skills and confidence.  This program served 2 participants, with 19 service hours.

Spirit Academy (started 2019)

The SPIRIT Academy course was created to educate and train service providers in equine assisted therapies and to teach them about the community in general.  The course trained and certified four Equine Assisted Psychotherapy service providers, who now work towards our mission. This program served 18 participants, with 75 service hours.



Therapeutic Riding


Equine Assisted Learning


Therap Horsemanship


Equine Assisted Psychotherapy


SPIRIT Academy





# of Participants

Therapeutic Riding


Equine Assisted Learning


Therapeutic Horsemanship


Equine Assisted Psychotherapy


SPIRIT Academy




2019 Volunteer Hours

The total number of volunteer hours for 2019 is 12696.75.

Here is the breakdown of these hours:

57.9% (7356 hours) -  Program,

17% (2158.75 hours) - Office

20.1% (2544 hours) - Farm

4.9% (628 hours) - Fundraising

Key volunteers:

Jeff Wallace:  Daily horse care, feeding and farm maintenance support.  Mike Henderson:  Vehicle and equipment support.  Kris Montagne: Office support.  Doug Gaibler:  Farm work support.  Ed Brimberg: Farm work support.  Bastien Jacquet: Farm work and IT support.


Lauren Wong - PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Certified EAL facilitator;  Karen Statman - PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor;  Sarah Morehouse - PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Certified Equine Assisted Mental Health Professional;  Danielle Springer - Program Assistant; Abby Schwall - Program Assistant;  Jenna Klein - Program Assistant;  Meagan Hosker - Program Assistant;  DeeAnna Gumas - Program Assistant; Alemka Berliner -MA, LPC, NCC and Certified Equine Assisted Mental Health Professional;  Jennifer Entwistle - LPC and Certified Equine Assisted Mental Health Professional;  Mary Cooper - LPC and Certified Equine Assisted Mental Health professional;  Leslie Vernon - Bookkeeper and office support; Boris Suvak - Property Manager and horse care maintenance;  Davorka Suvak -   Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Executive Director

Board of Directors and Officers:

Rob Mennell - Chairman; Lauren Wong - Secretary; Patty Sullivan - Treasurer;

Barry Dresner - Vice chairman; Diane Pires - Director; Leslie Vernon - Director;           Louise Peterson - Director; Dreesen Werner - Director; Lisa & Samuel Schwall - Directors; Douglas Gaibler - Director; Jennifer Cibula - Director; Aaron Fleet - Director (Resigned); Laura Welsh - Director (Resigned); Julia Scoville - Director (Resigned); Brian Wright - Vice chairman (Resigned)

Fundraising Committee:

Patty Sullivan - Chairman; Claire Hosker; Christina Klein; Diane Pires; Maria Sickinger; Candace Sturdivant; Doreen Gumas; Leslie Vernon - members

Executive Committee:

Rob Mennell; Leslie Vernon; Lauren Wong; Barry Dresdner; Mike Smith; Dreesen Werner

2019 - Top donors:

Thomas Dombrowsky; Harris Foundation; Patty & Huey Sullivan; Doreen and Charles C. Gumas; Lisa & Samuel Schwall; Jeff Wallace; Anita & Vineet Shingal; Laura Welsh; Diane Pires; CFC National  Capital Area; Florence Dougherty; Network For Good; Paypal Charitable Giving Fund; Ian Suvak; John Stubbs; Molly Stubbs; Paul Harris and others who prefer to remain anonymous

Thank you !

Our Collaborators

Veterinarian care has been provided by

Hoof and Paw Veterinary Services



SPIRIT thanks the Fairfax County Park Authority for the opportunity to provide our services and for accommodating our horses at Frying Pan Farm Park, Herndon Virginia.  SPIRIT thanks the community for its ongoing support.

Volunteers and Staff

SPIRIT programs, services and day to day operations rely on volunteers. There are so many volunteers who are committed to our organization for 10 or more years.

Key volunteers, in 2019, were Jeff Wallace as AM horse care and barn manager, and Kris Montagne as Volunteer Coordinator and office support.

Board of Directors

Rob Menell - Chairman, Brian Wright and Barry Dresdner - Vice Chairmen, Patty Sullivan - Treasurer, Lauren Wong - Secretary, Louise Peterson, Diane Pires, Leslie Vernon, Samuel and Lisa Schwall, Doug Gaibler, Chuck Gumas,  Cynda Zurluf, Jennifer Cibula, Claire Hosker, Werner Dreesen, Aaron Fleet served at the BOD in 2019

Committees (Volunteers)

Advisory Committee

Fundraising Committee

Executive Committee

Financial Committee

414 registered volunteers provided a total of 12,696.75 hours

Dedicated Staff Members:

Therapeutic Riding Instructors

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy service providers

Program Assistants

Property Manager

Bookkeeper and Admin support

Certified Public Accountant

Executive Director

Developing Sully Farm

Site plan is soon to be submitted to the Fairfax County Park Authority.  We have requested a new determination for using the land for agricultural purposes.

Next page is the current grading plans for the land; we plan to submit it to the Department of Planning and Zoning.