SHOUT OUT: The Bergen County Police Chiefs Foundation today presented a $6,600 donation to a non-profit Mahwah organization that gives special needs and at-risk children and adults a unique opportunity to ride, care for and interact with horses.
Several chiefs also are volunteering this week with Pony Power Therapies, founded 15 years ago, on Ramapo Valley Road.
A lifelong equestrian, Pony Power Therapies Executive Director Dana Spett founded the organization afer discovering therapeutic horseback riding while researching alternative therapies for one of her daughters with mild special needs.
In 2005, Pony Power transitioned to a 501(c)3 organization “to meet the increasing needs of the community,” and now serves as Bergen County’s only facility providing horse-assisted activities for special needs populations.
Those hosted by the agency include children and adults with a broad spectrum of developmental and physical disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, visual impairments and traumatic brain injury.
It also serves “individuals, families and groups facing a range of life challenges, such as those dealing with trauma and loss, substance abuse and recovery, eating disorders, anxiety and depression, relationship and social issues, parenting challenges and more.”
Philip White (President-Chiefs Foundation)
Wood-Ridge Police Chief Joseph Rutigliano (President-Chiefs Association)
Trudi Dial (Executive Director-Chiefs Foundation)
Dana Spett (Founder & Executive Director of Pony Power Therapies)
Laura Maresciallo (Classroom Curriculum Coordinator & Instructor, Pony Power Therapies)
Emerson Police Chief Donald Rossi (Chiefs Foundation Chairman)
Bogota Police Chief John Burke (Chiefs Foundation Treasurer)
Harrington Park Police Chief Albert Maalouf (Chiefs Foundation Board Member)
Lauren Cotton (Development Director Pony Power Therapies)
Jen Caffrey (Volunteer Coordinator & Instructor Pony Power Therapies)
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