January 18, 2017
9:02 am

TEC Donations to Warm Your Heart

Sarah Damaske was an accomplished equestrian right up until her death nearly 7 years ago. Robert Egan was a legendary Hunter Jumper Trainer ensconced in the Hunter Jumper Hall of Fame. Thanks to both individuals, the Therapeutic Equestrian Center, or TEC, barn arena can now be used year-round for riding lessons. TEC held a small ceremony earlier this month to honor the memory of Sarah and Bob and accept their generous gifts to the organization allowing installation of heaters over the barn's arena paving the way for warm riding lessons regardless of the weather outdoors. 

The Heat Dedication ceremony on Saturday, December 10th, was the perfect time to recall the memories of both, whose gifts provided TEC with the new advancements. Sarah's parents, Bill & Jane Damaske presented at the ceremonies, saying, "Sarah enjoyed riding horses; especially when it was warm. She was an accomplished equestrian who spent many hours, year-round, working with her horses." Sarah succumbed to cancer in February of 2010 at the age of 28. 

Sarah also enjoyed sharing her knowledge and talent with others; especially, with those who were not as physically able as herself. From a young age she volunteered with the therapeutic riding program. Because of Sarah’s caring spirit, she wanted any memorials made when she passed away to be given to TEC.

Her mother says, “She would be pleased to know that because of the warmth of her heart, your hearts as well as your fingers and toes are also warmed.”
 
Robert Egan of Buchanan died just under 10 years ago at the age of 85. Egan’s family had this to share: “To dedicate this system, in part, to the memory of Robert Egan, fills our family with joy.”
 
A legendary Hunter Jumper trainer recognized in the Hunter Jumper Hall of Fame, Robert Egan understood clearly the human-equine connection, how it brought delight, raised self-esteem, and created learning. He loved the horses in his life unconditionally, from famous jumpers, to the ever-patient school horses. In later years, he became convinced that therapeutic riding brought the connection to both horses and riders with disabilities in a profoundly moving way. The family of Robert Egan is proud of the dedication to him for the heaters in the arena.

TEC riders and horses will enjoy the warmth and benefit from the connection they give and receive every day from one another. The TEC Board has sincerely thanked the families for their continued support to TEC and its programs.
 
The Therapeutic Equestrian Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 that was founded in 2005. The center provides year-round therapeutic horseback riding as well as other equine assisted activities to individuals with special needs. TEC collaborates with Blossomland Learning Center of Berrien Springs to provide Saddle STARS, a school-based program using horses as a theme. TEC also provides a free program to veterans through the TEC With VETS programs. These programs are possible because of TEC’s team of donors and volunteers. You can contact TEC by e-mail at info@tecfarm.org visit their website www.tecfarm.org, or by phone at 269-429-0671.  
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