On November 2nd, I received this unexpected email:
You have been selected by the Program Committee as the October 2011 Volunteer Spotlight.
Your photo and tribute will be displayed throughout the month in the display case outside the Volunteer Hospitality Shed.
On behalf of the staff and volunteers we thank you for your dedication and continued support of Naples Equestrian Challenge. You help out in so many different ways and you truly deserve to be spotlighted.
I am attaching a Volunteer Spotlight bio guide for you to fill out and return to me to help us with your displayed tribute.
Volunteer Spotlight? Me?
John sits on the Program Committee which elects the Volunteer and the Rider of the Month. He had mentioned nothing. I quizzed him later. What did I learn? I learned that John abstained from the vote... and that was all.
How could I possibly deserve this honor? How could I possibly participate enough to earn this recognition? I wasn't there this morning when the horses were searching for their grain as the sun rose... I wasn't there last night when the stalls needed to be cleaned. I wasn't there yesterday when the horses were hot and sweaty, waiting patiently for their tack to be removed and cleaned after lessons. I wasn't there before the riders arrived to set up the ring... I wasn't there as phone calls were made and invitations sent out to prepare for The Bootstrap Boogie fundraiser.... I wasn't even there when the last dish and chair was safely put away after the fundraiser...
My husband was there for some of it.... Each member of the Program Committee was there for much of it... I see regular faces when we arrive for Riley's riding session who are still there each Monday evening as we pull out of our parking space...
So very much goes into making Naples Equestrian Challenge a success. My part is so very small. So how could I possibly be noticed among all those amazing volunteers? Perhaps that is the key. All those amazing staff and volunteers do notice. They notice that I try. They understand that Riley, just as the many other children in the program, is a handful. John and I made the decision back when Riley was just three years old that riding would benefit him. This program deserves to be a success so I participate as I can. I sidewalk with Riley here and there as needed. My Chico's fundraiser was successful but far from the earnings of the Bootstrap Boogie (oh, here are more amazing photo's of the event by John: http://www.naplesnews.com/photos/galleries/2011/nov/24/naples-equestrian-challenge-bootstrap-boogie-2011/). In fact, sometimes I'm a little overbearing. Yeah, I know it. Perhaps a little acerbic. I lecture volunteers. I preach to other parents who are unwilling to participate. There must be more than one volunteer or parent who issues a little sigh upon my arrival.
But, after all that, here they are appreciating me. And I appreciate each one of these amazing people who keep this wonderful place working for our kids.
Thank you Naples Equestrian Challenge! You bring so much to our life!
We are all special... by Stacie Wiesenbaugh
Later this week I will share the write up I shared for the bulletin board.
Monday at the Barn:
Ronan makes himself at home in the hospitality shed to get his homework done.
Ms. Deb, volunteer PT, help Riley get a back stretch aboard Pick A Spot.
Reindeer for Stephanie!
To learn more about Naples Equestrian Challenge:
Program & Volunteer Manager
Naples Equestrian Challenge
206 Ridge Drive Naples, Florida 34108
Tel: + 1 239 596 2988
Fax: + 1 239 514 2908
“The horses were the reason I started volunteering with NEC, however, the reason I stayed were the riders.”
- NEC Volunteer, Charlotte Newell