Non Profit of the Week – Carousel Ranch – Heart of the West

| SC Living | August 10, 2017

It’s not too late to get your tickets to Heart of the West on Saturday, August 26, 2017. With only two weeks to go, guests can expect an evening featuring one-of-a-kind live and silent auction items, catering by Salt Creek Grille and, of course – what it is all about, a demonstration by a few of the riders from the ranch. Following the auction, guests will enjoy “Heart of the West After Dark” with a live band, dancing, casino and fun for everyone.

This has been an incredible year for the ranch, centered around growth. In fact, this is the greatest period of growth the organization has experienced in its 20-plus year history. The addition of the Ranch’s new Ready to Work! (RTW) program has taken the program from serving 80 children weekly (in the equestrian program) to now serving an additional 40-50 in the course of a year in RTW!

Guests who attend the Heart of the West event can expect a night to remember, knowing that as you enjoy your dinner under the stars, your generosity makes a huge impact on a child’s life. When you are the highest bidder on the auction, not only do you win, but a child does as well. Each auction bid, every drink at the bar, every donation made – goes directly toward a child’s therapy.

The following story explains the difference your support makes in the life of a child.

Courtney Golin (pictured) has been a part of the Carousel Ranch family since she was eight years old. She was the surviving child of triplets and her parents were told that she would never walk or talk. In the words of her mom, “We were devastated. Rather than grieving for the child we did not have, we decided to challenge this wonderful gift, Courtney. All we wanted for our little girl was for her to have a functioning role in society.”


Courtney’s mother recalls what led her to Carousel Ranch: “She did not set any of the ‘normal’ milestones. She did not speak until she was four and her words were limited. She began walking at age five with a walker. A few years later, we found Carousel Ranch and our world has never been the same. At first, Courtney had fits when we would arrive for our lesson. It was a battle, much like going to the doctor for immunizations. She knew exactly where we were going and what was expected of her. After the third lesson we saw a grin and light in Courtney’s eyes that we will never forget. She got it! Over the years, Courtney has blossomed from the little girl who needed a walker to a fully ambulatory, dancing and independent, bowling 23-year-old young woman. Her language has developed and she now talks back and gives us attitude. She has an opinion, a voice.”

Her mother added more: “Courtney’s struggles are not over. She continues with many medical problems as well as developmental and cognitive issues. She cannot read or write more than her name. She is continuing to define her role in this world as she goes through life’s challenges. She never wanted a job and the Ready to Work! program has given her the opportunity to learn about job preparation and training. She now knows what it takes to become a valuable employee and the responsibilities of having a job. She loves getting up and putting on her Ready to Work! uniform. She has a new sense of confidence as a young adult providing a service to others and working in the tack shack. Carousel Ranch has given her the inner strength to accomplish goals, overcome obstacles, joy and work with amazing staff and horses.”

Get your tickets today at www.carouselranch.org or by calling 661-268-8010.

Carousel Ranch is dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with special needs. Through both equestrian therapy and vocational training programs, the program strives to create an atmosphere where every student can and will succeed … a place where therapy is disguised as fun.

Hero of the Week – Lisa Hamblen Jaserie

This month, Carousel Ranch has lost a dear friend — Lisa Hamblen Jaserie. In 2001, Carousel Ranch had lost its lease and literally had nowhere to move. With only days to spare, Lisa heard the news and opened their home and family ranch to the program, saying yes before she ever even met us. For four years, her home was our home on Ravenhill Road until we found our own permanent ranch in Agua Dulce.

We honestly cannot even begin to express to you how grateful we are for everything that Lisa and this amazing family did for Carousel Ranch. Looking back at the loss of our lease and having to move … it now seems that maybe there was a bigger reason for it all. If none of that had happened, Lisa, Kim and Suzy would not have been in our lives. Somehow there always seems to be a reason for everything that happens.

So many wonderful things happened to Carousel Ranch while at the Hamblen Family Ranch on Ravenhill Road. We have amazing memories of our time there, and friends that we might never have met, had we not landed in exactly that location.

Without Lisa and the entire Hamblen family, Carousel Ranch would simply not be the program it is today, as we were truly days from giving up and having no choice but to close down. Lisa, her mother Suzy Hamblen, and daughter Kim Jaserie are truly amongst those that we owe so very much.

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.” –Unknown

This quote is so true. We will never forget Lisa and her amazing heart. She was so very special and will continue to live in the hearts of our children.

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Santa Clarita Gazette and Free Classifieds is a locally owned weekly publication. Each week you will find news, opinion, sports and more plus over 200 classified ads online and in print! Each week’s issue is printed and distributed on Thursdays and Fridays, the full edition is also here on the web site on Thursdays as a page flip. All of the articles and classified ads are online and display ads are printed and appear on various pages of the web site to correspond with the print ad.

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