2019 EQUINE THERAPY CONCERT TOUR: THE FIRST 60 DAYS
My 2019 US concert tour is well underway and in the past two months I have traveled more than 6,000 miles from sea to shining sea, dipped my toes in the waters of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, visited with old friends, made new ones, experienced all four seasons, sometimes in the same day, and once again been fortunate enough to do what I set out to do several years ago: use my music and comeback story to give back and be a living, breathing example to everyone to never give up.
The focus of this years tour which has now been extended through December of 2020 is to help raise money and awareness for equine-assisted therapy, a cause that most resonates with my own journey. Located in cities and towns across America, these incredible groups of horses and humans, and other types of furry four-legged friends are giving hope to individuals both young and old, and their families.
As someone who once lost all hope I can personally tell you that having hope means everything, and can sometimes even mean the difference between life and death.
Which equine-assisted-therapy organizations has my 2019-2020 concert tour help support so far? Here is the list:
AGAPE ACRES (Marana, AZ) on March 23, 2019
We are a 501(c)3 non profit organization. Our heart is to serve our community by providing EAAT and EAL (Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy and Equine Assisted Learning) to children with special needs, children with disabilities and children in foster care. We are a Therapeutic Riding Center and a Member Center of Path Int'l. PATH is the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship and we have a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor on site. Our hope is to provide EAAT and EAL to any child who may benefit regardless of ability to pay - we wish to be 100% donor funded, so that no child that would like to participate goes without EAAT and/or EAL due to lack of funds. Learn more and donate at their website —>
WALK IN MY SHOES THERAPEUTIC RIDING (SMITHFIELD, NC) on March 30, 2019
Our Mission: To provide individuals with special needs the opportunity to achieve a sense of accomplishment and improve their minds, bodies and spirits through equine assisted therapies and activities. Established in late 2016, Walk in My Shoes Therapeutic Riding is Johnston County's leading therapeutic riding program. This 501(c)3 non-profit program offers safe and fun equine assisted activities to all ages and are led by PATH certified instructors. Learn more and donate at their website —>
NEW FREEDOM FARM (BUCHANAN, VA) on APRIL 6, 2019
Lois Fritz founded New Freedom Farm in 2016 out of her personal understanding of PTSD and the relief she experienced through time spent in the midst of her horses. Located on 13 level acres in Buchanan, VA; the farm is home to 19 equines, including three mares & their foals saved from slaughter, a number of mini horses & mini donkeys, a hinny and a mule. Built on faith and determination, New Freedom Farm is dedicated to helping those who have served our country along with their families. New Freedom Farm is a safe place for veterans suffering from PTSD/TBI, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and secondary trauma. We are a 501c3 nonprofit, so we work solely off of donations and faith. However, there is no charge to veterans who wish to visit and all visitors are welcome. Learn more and donate at their website —>
MILES OF SMILES THERAPEUTIC HORSEMANSHIP (GARDEN CITY, KS) on MAY 4, 2019
Miles of Smiles Therapeutic Horsemanship is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that offers children and adults with physical, mental, emotional and social disabilities the benefit of therapeutic horseback riding. Smiles of Strength is a proposed program to help individuals whose lives have been transformed by post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This “therapeutic” setting will provide equine assisted activities (EAA) to help clients attain skills that help deal with the stresses caused by PTSD. Learn more and donate at their website —>
BACK BAY THERAPEUTIC RIDING CLUB (NEWPORT BEACH, CA) on MAY 19, 2019
The Back Bay Therapeutic Riding Club is dedicated to providing an avenue for improving the quality of life of children, youth, and adults with physical and developmental disabilities through recreational and structured horseback riding and other unique therapeutic activities. We are a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization and a proud member of PATH, Intl., the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. Our specialized staff consists of certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors and Equine Specialists in Mental Health & Learning (EAGALA certified). Learn more and donate at their website —>
AN UNEXPECTED GIFT IN KANSAS
Rossville, KS and the people who live there are very important to me. I have been fortunate to forge life-long friendships with many of the families that call this small, quiet mid-western town home and will forever be grateful. When asked to help support one very special couple who live there I said, “yes” and was honored to do so.
ROSSVILLE AMERICAN LEGION (ROSSVILLE, KS) ON APRIL, 19, 2019
Getting your wisdom teeth removed is not supposed to be a life-altering event, but it ended up as one for Mallory Mitchell. Mallory is a 21-year-old college senior majoring in Business at Emporia State. She got engaged to Kyle Hammer in July of 2017 and they were working on planning their wedding day for September 2018. Going to school as a full-time college student as well as working, she planned the wedding to the love of her life, Kyle Hammer. The world was open to her and things looked bright.
Then on March 19, 2018, Mallory decided it was the best time to get her wisdom teeth removed. Between her work, school, and upcoming wedding planning, this would be the perfect window of opportunity to get this taken care of. Unfortunately, some things can not be planned.
She suffered a cardiac arrest that changed her life. After some tense and scary days, she awoke and alert and very near back to her regular spunky self. She had some lingering hand/eye coordination and slurred speech but was improving daily. It looked like everything was on its way back up. But life had other plans. Learn more here —>
MY TOUR ROLLS ON
It’s hard to believe that all of this has happened in such a short time and I am truly looking forward to seeing where the rest of the year will take me. I have a full calendar of concerts and will be helping support many more equine-assisted therapy organizations across the US. Until next time I invite you to scroll through my gallery of images and memories from the last two months at the top of this page and I leave you with this video message from the road in Southern Utah.
SCOTT HELMER is a singer, songwriter, musician and Guinness World Records title holder for "Most Live Music Performances in 24 Hours (multiple cities)."
Since 2012 his special fundraising concerts have helped raise more than $2 Million Dollars for good causes across America ranging from military veterans and their families, equine-assisted therapy, suicide prevention, first responders, pet and animal rescues, food banks, historic places, special needs children and adults, and more.
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