May 2019 Letter from RCF Board Chair Kris Zook

RCF Board Chair Kim Zook shares the local impact of a recent grantee aimed at enriching the lives of wounded and recovering service members.
RCF Board Chair Kim Zook shares the local impact of a recent grantee aimed at enriching the lives of wounded and recovering service members.
RCF members Wesley Brustad and John Degenfelder pose for a photo at the RCF Spring Fling
RCF members Wesley Brustad and John Degenfelder pose for a photo at the RCF Spring Fling

With summer almost upon us, we wanted to share some updates about the Ramona Community Foundation (RCF) with our members.

Last month, we had a wonderful evening at Turtle Rock Winery for our Spring Fling, where we also celebrated our Chair Emeritus, John Degenfelder’s 91st birthday!

In addition, our Grants Committee members will soon be evaluating our 2019 grant applications.

Please remember, the more we share the incredible work and impact of RCF with others, the more we will have to grant year after year.

If you have friends and neighbors who are interested in getting involved and making a difference in our community, please encourage them to become a member today by contacting Trudy Armstrong at trudy@sdfoundaiton.org.

Local Impact

Cornerstone Therapeutic Riding Center is an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of wounded and recovering service members, veterans, first responders and their families. Since 2008, Cornerstone has been providing programs and services developed specifically for all who have sacrificed and served.

Members of the Cornerstone Therapeutic Riding Center and a recent participant pose for a photo with one of the therapy horses.
Members of the Cornerstone Therapeutic Riding Center and a recent participant pose for a photo with one of the therapy horses.

Thanks to a recent grant from RCF members, Cornerstone’s Therapy Horses have been the catalyst for some amazing healing of body, mind and spirit. Cornerstone was able to provide services to more than 150 wounded and recovering service members in 2018 and the Foundation has played a major role in making it possible!

We’re often asked how equine-assisted therapy works and, more importantly, if it works. In a word, yes. The results are profound. According to recent military medical research, therapeutic horseback riding yields a 92 percent decrease in suicidal ideations, 91 percent decrease in anxiety and hyper-vigilance and a 94 percent decrease in depression.

Army Major and Green Beret Mike’s experience speaks volumes to the effectiveness of equine therapy. After miraculously surviving a catastrophic parachuting accident, Mike was left emotionally, physically and mentally broken. Traditional clinical, psychiatric and pharmaceutical therapies failed him, leaving him, and his family, hopeless.

Referred by a psychiatrist at Balboa Hospital who specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder, Mike found the healing he was so desperately
seeking in the saddle.

There is a saying, “the outside of a horse, is good for the inside of a man.” We find truth in those words through the feedback we hear from those who come to heal through Cornerstone’s Therapy Horses:

“I have tried so many different things to get better and nothing has worked. I’ve been suicidal and so broken. The horses are the only thing that has worked and helped me heal mentally and emotionally”.  -U.S. Marine

“You guys are amazing and so knowledgeable. I loved it so much that I intend to keep coming back. Thank you for being a blessing to me”.  -U.S. Navy Sailor

“The horses give me peace in my panicked and assaulted world”. – U.S. Navy Commander

The monetary gift from the Foundation was powerful, but the gift of understanding, and truly seeing the value and the life-changing impact horses is a gift beyond measure.

Thank you to all the RCF members who helped make this impact possible.

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