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Two hundred and fifty revelers spent the evening of May 3rd at the Omni Houston Hotel having fun and vying to see who’s the best supporter of SIRE-Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Center. SIRE brings horses together with people with special needs, providing a better quality of life to more than 235 riders through weekly therapeutic horsemanship sessions.
The night of SIRE’s Ride Beyond Gala started with cocktails to the dulcet strains of Virtuosi of Houston’s Youth Orchestra. Guests wending their way around the Omni’s first floor saw to their surprise the gala’s Year of the Horse theme sculpted as a Chinese-style horse, life-sized. Nearby were the 100 bottles of wine in the Cultivate-a-cellar raffle. Without a doubt, the immediacy of the new mobile bidding system captivated all comers, so much so that the silent auction garnered 40% more than last year’s.
The night celebrated horsepower of all sorts. Beck & Masten Auto Group presented the 2014 SIRE Ride Beyond Gala. Like SIRE, Beck & Masten is an exemplary organization, having won the dealership of the year award 20 times for outstanding sales and customer retention. They have been the #1 Buick GMC Dealer in the nation 6 times.
John and Sharon Beck of Beck & Masten were pleased to applaud the 2014 honorary gala chairs, their friends John and Jane Mancuso. John shared touching stories of how much he has seen SIRE benefit people with special needs and how he shares that love with Jane. Houstonians may recognize the name from the several Mancuso Harley-Davidson dealerships in the area. Johnny has received longevity awards, dealer excellence awards and accomplished national and world records in Top Fuel Harley Drag Bike Racing and world championships in the American Drag Bike Association and International Hot Rod Association. Jane has been a practicing veterinarian for 36 years and is a past president of the Harris County Veterinary Medical Association and of the Texas Hunter Jumper Association.
Mistress of Ceremonies Shern-Min Chow, anchor of Houston’s KHOU 11 News, continued to bring both levity and sincerity to the evening. Dance of Asian America captivated with their charming and award-winning dances. SIRE volunteer and designer Debbie Sweren of Debbie Doodles Ink carried out the Year of the Horse theme with decorations, her horse sculpture, and all gala’s printed materials.
After a thrilling live auction, guests ended the evening with music by Rapture of Houston. SIRE’s President of the Board, Cody Hogue, summarized the event, saying, “We should all be proud of the SIRE family and those who chose to support our organization.” Executive Director Lili Kellogg, concurred, saying the gala “was a tremendous success in raising funds to help our SIRE riders MOVE BEYOND!”
Special events raise one-third of SIRE’s budget. This year’s Ride Beyond Gala raised more that $225,000, contributing to the general support of SIRE’s mission to improve the quality of life for people with special needs through therapeutic horsemanship activities and therapies, and educational outreach.
SIRE is a nonprofit organization with locations in Hockley, Spring and Fort Bend County that provide therapeutic riding instruction to people of all ages with varying developmental, physical, and psychological disabilities. The organization, founded 30 years ago, served more than 300 riders last year, helping each gain a sense of accomplishment, greater independence, and a higher quality of life. SIRE has received a “Premier Accreditation” rating from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Riding International. Four of the 31 Master Instructors certified by PATH International world-wide serve riders and the profession at SIRE.
For more information on SIRE, Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Centers, please visit www.SIRE-htec.org or call 281-356-7588.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]