Stable Grounds

Representatives from Stable Grounds and 100 Women Who Care gather for a photo marking the donation of $10,000 from 100 Women Who Care to the new equine therapy nonprofit. In front, from left, are Julie Whitehead, Kori Cripe, Jane Allen, Linda Grant and Jenny Welch. In back are Kim Peddler, Carrie Berghoff, Lara Palmer, Shannon Martin, Mike Varner, Yvonne Buller, Cindy Miller and Jodi Spataro.

MIDDLEBURY — The groundbreaking for Stable Grounds could happen as early as this spring and a $10,000 grant from 100 Women Who Care will help make it possible.

A total of $375,000 is being raised so a barn with stalls, a classroom, offices and a show arena can be constructed on 3.65 acres on the main campus for Middlebury schools. The women who attended the January meeting of 100 Women Who Care heard the presentation from Jane Allen, superintendent of Middlebury Community Schools, and awarded their quarterly grant to the effort.

Kori Cripe, a counselor at Heritage Intermediate School, has been doing equine therapy eight years at her home. She and Allen have been talking for the past number of years about getting a facility established to provide students with social-emotional therapeutic activities using therapy trained miniature horses and donkeys. Two years ago they started finding donors and creating a nonprofit.

Das Dutchman Essenhaus donated the land and another major donor has come through to help pay for the building. In addition, the Middlebury school board agreed recently to help pay for maintenance, utilities and staffing related to the facility because of how it will help students.

“It’s going to benefit all of our students with social-emotional issues,” Allen said. “The goal is to take care of our kids.”

The donation from 100 Women Who Care will help students interact with miniature horses and donkeys sooner. It’s one way the philanthropic group reaches into the community to open doors for others.

“You came up with something magical, as far as I’m concerned,” Allen told the founders.

The 100 Women Who Care Elkhart County chapter was organized in 2014 by Jenny Welch and Sheila Terlep. In the past three years, more than 200 women have given to the Elkhart County chapter to support local causes. The group has awarded $260,000 to local organizations serving Elkhart County residents.

The 100 Women Who Care is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County.

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