Imagine the joy of a mother’s heart in discovering a program that would benefit her child suffering with a very progressive form of multiple sclerosis. That mother is Mary Ann Collier and the program that gave her daughter Cathy a new reason for living was the Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center of East Texas.
“In the beginning, Cathy could ride a horse and enjoy girl talk with friends without her mother being right by her side. When Cathy could no longer mount a horse, Windridge founder Margo Dewkett obtained a two-wheeled, horse-drawn, wheelchair-accessible cart that Cathy loved to drive across the pasture. And when Cathy became bedridden, her friends at Windridge never gave up caring for her. Cathy never got to ride in the new, beautiful facility or meet all the new horses, but I know she is proud of what Windridge became and looks down from heaven with a smile,” Mrs. Collier said.
On Saturday, April 2, the community is invited to celebrate riders’ therapy and riding achievements at Horse&Rider 2011. This annual fundraiser and open house event, to be held from 12 p.m.-3:30 p.m., includes a silent auction, special demonstrations distinctive to Windridge, and recognition of our veterans and the men and women serving in the armed services.
“I love the time I’ve volunteered at Windridge because you have an onsite view of the good being done,” Mrs. Collier said. “Volunteering to me is helping others.”
In addition to her many years of service to Windridge, Mrs. Collier is a member of the Ivy League Garden Club, the Oak Crest Woman’s Club, and United Methodist Women. She volunteers with the Longview Interfaith Hospitality Network and for Newgate Mission. Mrs. Collier also performs with the DownHome Cloggers.
Born in Marlin, Texas, Mrs. Collier has lived in Longview most of her life. She graduated from Longview High School and attended Texas State College for Women in Denton, Texas, now Texas Woman’s University. Mrs. Collier and her husband, Pat, have been married 58 years and reared four daughters.
“Longview is the greatest place to live and raise a family,” Mrs. Collier said. “I have Longview in my heart and feel blessed by God to volunteer any way I can.”
For more information on Horse&Rider 2011, please call 903-797-2414 or visit www.windridgetexas.org.