A Message from the Executive Director – November 2019
As the days grow shorter and we near the end of our 30th year, I would like to take a moment to thank not only everyone that has contributed to the Farm this year, but everyone who has supported the Farm over the past 30 years to help us inspire, empower and change thousands of lives.
We celebrated our 30th anniversary in style this past June, hosting 1,900 people at the farm for our biggest open house of the year, highlighted by three performances by the President’s Choice SuperDogs. We also welcomed 200+ visitors to the Farm for our annual Swing into Spring event in April and another 300 this past month for the Halloween Spooktacular. We hope to see even more folks on Saturday, December 7th at the Holly Jolly Jubilee.
It was a banner year for participation at the Farm, with many of our programs setting new attendance records. Over four seasons, we had 132 participants in our Community Participation Program; we eclipsed 50 participants/week in the Learning for Life program; we taught lessons to 424 riders in the therapeutic riding program; and, at last count, we have 337 active volunteers!
As we prepare to embark upon the next 30 years, we are taking the opportunity to check in on what we are doing well and where we have room for improvement. We sent out a survey to all of our stakeholders that closed on October 31st that will help us to see where we can be better at meeting our participants’ needs and setting up our staff and volunteers for success. We are also in the midst of completing a new strategic plan for 2020-22. While not yet finished, major themes of the plan will be greater financial sustainability; an improved marketing and communications strategy; and program optimization through a better understanding of our capacity, resources needed, and feedback accumulated through program assessments.
As we prepare to close the book on 2019 and put pen to paper on the first chapter of the next 30 years, it will be imperative that we all continue to communicate and work together. WindReach Farm has become the supportive, life-enriching place that it is because of the heart and dedication of all the staff and volunteers and the ever-amazing participants we serve that make us all want to do better every day. Please keep your ideas coming and let’s continue to support each other as we strive to ensure that WindReach Farm is still here 30 years from now.
A Message from the Executive Director – April 2019
As I reflect back on my first year at WindReach Farm, the first message that I would like to convey is a heartfelt thank you. WindReach Farm is a place like no other. Everyone that comes up our driveway, whether a participant, volunteer, sponsor, staff member, or a friend of the farm, has one thing in common: a desire to contribute to something larger than themselves. This has been evident since my first day, and I have been truly blessed to be so warmly embraced by all of our stakeholders.
As we look back at the last 30 years, and plan for the next 30, we will be looking to grow and expand our knowledge base and expertise in delivering the kind of high quality, therapeutic programming that our user groups come here for and deserve. We will be putting more structure in place to ensure that we are communicating with all of our stakeholders more frequently and effectively. We will be exploring avenues to reach more people in the community who can benefit from our services, and looking to engage more partners to contribute to the life-changing programs that we offer. We will also be re-connecting with our users to ensure that the programming we provide aligns with their needs.
Please join us in celebrating our 30th anniversary this year by coming to our open houses on April 27th, October 19th, and December 7th; enjoying the festivities, including the SuperDogs at our Founder’s Day celebration on June 18th; and our annual fundraising dinner, A Night at WindReach Farm on September 21st. WindReach Farm is also offering individual and family memberships and will be making more use of our facilities on evenings and weekends (contact us for details on both). Finally, we want to hear from you, and welcome our community to let us know what will make your visits more enjoyable, and better meet the needs of participants within our programs.
As we hopefully bid adieu to winter, we hope to see all of you up at the farm very soon.