Magical Meadows board member Brent Bockelman (R), with the help of Executive Director Carl Adams (L), auctions off a quilt during the A Day To Rise Up event. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union
Magical Meadows board member Brent Bockelman (R), with the help of Executive Director Carl Adams (L), auctions off a quilt during the A Day To Rise Up event. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union
LEESBURG - The importance of The Magical Meadows was reiterated during its A Day to Rise Up event Saturday at the Tippecanoe Lake Country Club.

A Day to Rise Up is The Magical Meadow’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Through its therapeutic riding program at The Magical Meadows, children, youth and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities improve physical health, relax tight muscles, increase balance, build muscle strength, sharpen hand/eye coordination, improve social skills and gain a sense of control and self-confidence as the rider experiences a freedom never felt before, according to The Magical Meadows website.

Executive Carl Adams said  he sees miracles on a regular basis. He sees parents who are beside themselves, trying to figure out where to go. The Magical Meadows is not just for the children or adults who need Magical Meadows’ services, but for the parents as well. It is an all-encompassing place to be.

Adams said he finds out “more and more each day” how needed The Magical Meadows is. A lot of people have called over the last year for services.

Founder Tammy Stackhouse said The Magical Meadows allows children to come and be included.

She said The Magical Meadows is celebrating its 15th year. It started with one horse in her driveway. Fifteen years later, Magical Meadows provides services for 150 children and adults, she said.

Kosciusko County is an amazing community, she said. “But we have a work to do.”

Kosciusko County has about 80,000 people in it and “over 10% over 65 years old have a disability,” she said.

Stackhouse believes this is a time for Kosciusko County to step up. There are so many opportunities that are being created in the county. People with disabilities, or different abilities, don’t always have that.

She said there should be a place where people with special disabilities could do things like able-bodied people.

“We have to do more. We have to do better,” she said.

Stackhouse suggested people visit The Magical Meadows to see what it’s about. She said people don’t even have to get out of their cars.

Adams said people can not go there and not be moved.

During Saturday’s event, several parents told stories about how their children benefited from going to The Magical Meadows.

Susie and Tony Siebeneck talked about their son, Owen, in a prerecorded video. Tony said Owen has an ultra-rare condition. Owen lacked core strength and mobility due to his condition.

Since going to The Magical Meadows, Tony said Owen has increased core strength and hand-eye coordination.

Susie said before going to The Magical Meadows, Owen wasn’t talking very much. Since his start at Magical Meadows, Susie said Owen has picked up words and his self-confidence has improved.

Elizabeth Hausman said her daughter, Addy, has been going to The Magical Meadows since 2017.

Addy was born with a rare genetic disease which presents a lot like cerebral palsy, which she was diagnosed with in 2016. When Addy was diagnosed, there were 26 people worldwide with the disease.

Elizabeth said when Addy does the horse therapy, it’s a little bit more fun.

During Saturday’s event, silent and live auctions were held. Items auctioned off included a two-night stay at The Guesthouse at The Village, a hot air balloon ride and a guitar signed by The Rolling Stones.

The fundraising goal of the event was $75,000. At the beginning of the night, they had already raised $37,000.

Adams said, “We’re in the process of starting phase two of Magical Meadows.” There are plans for two buildings to eventually be built.