Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

April 10, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Carrie Hoeppner,
Central Region Communications Director
(407) 264-1379
Local Foster Youth Get Horsepower!
~ New Central Florida Private, Public, Nonprofit, and Corporate partners “Saddle up” to Make a Difference ~
young child pets horse
Young child pets horse.

ORLANDO, FLA. – When children enter foster care it is to ensure their safety and well-being. Although safe, these same youth find they often miss their favorite canine, equine, feline or fuzzy friend. The Department of Children and Families has teamed up with several key partners in an effort to launch the first local equine scholarship program for youth with disabilities, ages 4 and up, who reside in foster care. Freedom Ride provides an exciting opportunity for special children to connect one on one with horses, to enjoy outdoor activities the same as their peers, and to learn how to re-establish long lasting relationships as they continue to overcome past and present experiences, as well as trust.

Community Based Care of Central Florida, the lead organization for foster care related services, along with Doorstep Delivery, the Foundation for Foster Children, Panera Bread, Freedom Ride and WESH 2 Anchor Martha Sugalski and family have “saddled” up to make this opportunity a reality for children in foster care.

Therapeutic riding scholarships for the children range from $35 per session up to $500 for an entire semester.

Doorstep Delivery, Freedom Ride and Community Based Care of Central Florida are all accepting funds for the scholarship program through May 13 via their websites.

Donations can be made through the organization of choice:

A press event will follow on May 6 which will include a special invitation for 20 local special needs children in foster care who will experience an up close and personal one on one introduction to the therapeutic horses. A separate advisory will follow closer to the event.