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CCMPA raises over $6,000 for people with disabilities

Ermie Oliveri, Paul Hargest, camp volunteer, Ivan receiving the donation along with Ann Cain, Exececutive Director of Sunrise.

Concrete-Masonry Producers raise over $6,000 to support programs for people with disabilities

Sunrise Therapeutic Riding & Learning Centre to benefit from Bronze Sponsorship of CCMPA through the Mason Carter Memorial Fund

PUSLINCH, ON, Nov. 28 /CNW/ – A horse-riding farm that helps people with disabilities has received over $6,000.00 from the Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association (CCMPA). The donation comes from fundraising efforts through the CCMPA’s Mason Carter Memorial Fund. Paul Hargest, President of CCMPA, presented the cheque totaling $6,462.18 to the Sunrise Therapeutic Riding & Learning Centre today.

“The Sunrise Centre plays such a vital role in the lives of the people who use its programs, yet it’s easy for a facility like this be overshadowed by higher-profile charities,” said Hargest. “We know it’s an extremely worthy cause, and we also appreciate being able to see our contribution ‘in action’ at a facility in our community.”

The Sunrise Centre provides therapeutic riding, vaulting, recreation and animal-care programs that help children and adults with physical and developmental challenges. The physical, psychological and social benefits of these programs include:

  • Development of muscle strength and flexibility
  • Improved balance and mobility
  • Improved learning skills and concentration
  • Social integration
  • A sense of achievement and independence
  • Increased self-esteem and self-confidence

The Sunrise Centre was chosen by CCMPA as the 2007 recipient of funds raised through the Mason Carter Memorial Fund. CCMPA established the Fund in 2006 to honour the longstanding business and community contribution of the late Mason Carter, a highly respected individual in the production of masonry products from Central Ontario. Proceeds of the Fund previously have been donated to the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Fundraising events this year included a golf tournament and a raffle. CCMPA is a Bronze Sponsor of the Sunrise Centre, having donated an amount greater than $5,000.00.

“This money is so appreciated and will be so well-used,” said Ann Caine, Executive Director of the Sunrise Centre. Caine said the Centre receives no government funding. “Governments tend to see facilities like ours – ‘children riding horses’ – as a luxury, but it’s about so much more than riding: It’s about interacting with animals and caring for them and the fact that they are totally accepting-they pass no judgment on these children.” She added, “I’m a pediatric nurse by profession and I can honestly say this is one of the best programs of its kind I’ve ever seen.”

Sunrise is one of about 40 such facilities in Ontario; there are about 100 across Canada. Because they’re not generally publicly funded, their operation can be touch and go. Through fundraising such as CCMPA’s and through the dedication of about 100 volunteers and seven full- and part-time staff, Sunrise has continued to serve communities across southern and southwestern Ontario for 25 years.

The Centre helps children and adults with all types of special needs. It also offers integrated programs such as summer camps that place children who have disabilities with those who don’t. Participants with special needs are referred to the Centre by their doctors, and the Centre’s policy is never to turn away anyone deemed suitable for one of its programs.

“We have one little girl with Angelman Syndrome,” said Ann Caine. “Her mother has to provide complete care for her. To see her get up on a horse and ride-it’s a life-changing achievement for her.” Angelman Syndrome, named after the British doctor who first diagnosed it in 1965, is a genetic disorder that impairs intellectual and physical development.

Caine said the money received from CCMPA will likely be used to help cover the costs of scholarships for children who otherwise couldn’t afford to come, and sponsoring or buying horses in order to offer additional riding lessons. Currently the Centre supports 20 horses, four miniature horses, a donkey, two alpacas and five cats. The cost of sponsoring one horse is $3,000.00 per year.

About Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre
Sunrise is a registered charity that has been providing quality therapy, recreation and life-skills programs to children and adults with a wide range of special needs since 1982. Located on a 105-acre farm in Puslinch, Ontario, between Guelph and Cambridge, Sunrise offers horse riding, sport, recreation, and farm-related activities that together help develop the full potential of people with disabilities. The Centre also offers integrated programs for children with or without special needs. All riding instructors are fully certified through Equine Canada and the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA). By creating an environment of challenge, enjoyment and achievement, Sunrise helps lead people of all ages and capabilities closer to independence.

The Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association, operating as Region 6 of the National Concrete Masonry Association, is the representative voice for the Canadian concrete block manufacturing industry. The Association supports concrete masonry producers and suppliers in numerous areas including standards, training, technological research, government relations, and marketing and communications. Through these areas, the Association works to ensure the highest standards of quality, and maintain the industry’s strong market presence.

For further information: Marina de Souza, Managing Director, Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association, (416) 495-7497, 1-888-495-7497,