Lift Me Up! Annual Gala, It’s a Derby Party, hats off to our horses!

Lift Me Up! Therapeutic Riding Program will hold its annual gala at November 15th at the BMW Dealership in Sterling. This year the gala will be a DERBY PARTY, Hats off to our horses! Post time is 7:00 pm. BMW of Sterling recently opened its elegant and spacious new Showroom on Autoworld Circle and has welcomed Lift Me Up! back to its new digs to host the annual gala.

This year has been the Chinese “Year of the Horse” so it seems fitting to salute our wonderful 11 horses and the amazing work they do everyday carrying over 100 riders each week with special needs in life-changing therapeutic riding lessons. The gala underwrites a large portion of Lift Me Up’s operating budget as rider fees account for only a fraction of the actual expense to run the program.

“We are very grateful to Thomas and Joyce Moorehead for sharing their beautiful dealership with us for our most important evening of the year,” commented gala co-chair and director of development, Laura Smith, “There have been some wonderful galas across the street at the original dealership, but this new facility is really stunning.”

Co-chairs Donna Zimmerman and Laura Smith are planning a lively evening filled with themed auction tables that will include: “Eat like a horse (dining),” “Pampered Ponies (spa),” “Clothes Horse (gift cards and clothing),” “Horse Shoes (shoes, bags),” “Get out of the barn and on to the green” (golf and travel packages). Cocktail attire is requested and ladies are encourage to wear festive hats. A hat contest and horse racing games are planned along with sumptuous food from RSVP Catering and traditional mint juleps will be served. Live and silent auctions will again be featured. Popular Washington DC based DJ, David Grimm, will provide dance music after dinner. Tickets are $150 per person and $1500 for a table of ten.

Winner’s Circle Sponsors include KPMG, LLP; Eagle Bank and the Sugar Association. Other sponsorships are available: Triple Crown/Title $15,000; Horse of the Century $10,000 (includes 1 year sponsorship of a Lift Me Up! horse); Jockey’s Fund $7,500 (supports 5 riders); Gold Cup Hat Contest Sponsor $4,000; Winner’s Circle $3,000; Exacta or Trifecta Box $1,000. Sponsorships include seating and advertising. For more information, please visit www.liftmeup.org or contact Laura Smith at 571-331-7709.

The Lift Me Up! Gala is the primary fundraising event for the 39 year old program that has provided thousands of therapeutic horseback riding lessons to children and adults with disabilities at its Great Falls stable. Lift Me Up! launched a program for injured veterans called BITS (Back in the Saddle). Each week over 100 riders develop new riding skills that enhance their core strength, balance, coordination and confidence. Lift Me Up! trains volunteers age 14 and older to assist with the therapeutic riding lessons as sidewalkers and leaders. This is a very special equestrian program that engages the best of humanity with extraordinary horses to provide a healing experience for those in our community who are most challenged. Each year hundreds of volunteers donate nearly 10,000 hours of service to support individuals with disabilities and their families.

Lift Me Up! Inc. is a community organization that relies on financial and in-kind donations from individuals and corporations. It is a 501(c)3 corporation and participates in the United Way #8266 Combined Federal Campaign CPF # 70459.