Synergy Physical Therapy And Sports Medicine latest 2023

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Shea Equestrian Center is Tops With Parents and Kids

Most parents are blessed with healthy children. However, there are also those whose children have special needs. Where do you go, if you’re one of those parents, for therapy?

Many families have discovered a wonderful place called the JF Shea Therapeutic Riding Center in San Juan Capistrano, California. It is one of the most respected and largest accredited therapeutic equestrian programs in the country.

It takes more than 200 volunteers, physical and occupational therapists, staff to care for 25 horses and seven acres of land to care for more than 540 riders a year, according to general manager Dana Butler-Moburg and her assistant Dana Green. Green added that the center serves clients with about 50 different disabilities.

Why mention the Shea Center in relation to a small but exclusive part of Laguna Hills, California? Because some of the centre’s most dedicated volunteers and supporters live right downtown!

How and when did it all start? Twenty years ago Jon and Penny Fosheim wanted to volunteer and the center was looking for someone with a background in finance to help it grow. With Jon’s financial background and Penny’s interest in horses, the union was made.

Penny calls him kismet. Jon was more involved while Penny was raising their children. It was during these years that Penny met fellow Nellie Gail mums. She recruited these families to form what Moburg and Green dubbed “The Lone Pine Circle Gang”. Over the years, these Nellie Gail pals have literally raised millions of dollars to support the Shea Center.

Other families who have joined are Jenny and Bill Klein, who donated $1 million and an $850,000 challenge grant to cover final renovation costs last year. The grant was awarded on December 31, 2007, and Shea has just broken ground on the Klein Family Education and Therapy Building.

The others are Les and Ellen Thomas – Les is the retired president of Shea Homes of Southern California; Susie and Bob Roof – former presidents of the organization; Georgia Redoglia, Bev Yocum, Diane and Wayne Blackburn and Dixie Sparks, who is the center’s 2008 volunteer of the year.

What kind of support do these families give besides financial donations? Penny oversees an annual barbecue fundraiser and black-tie event aptly named the Shea Center Gala. The ladies refer to themselves as the “worker bees”.

All agreed that they were doing whatever needed to be done – raising funds, doing raffles, tying bows and ribbons on balloons and decorating rooms. As Jenny Klein says “A synergy has developed between us over our years of friendship, mothering and volunteering.”

All of their children are also involved. Many adults today still donate their time or have found their own passions for volunteering to follow in the very generous footsteps of their parents.

A girl has finished university and decided to teach in Madagascar. Some spend their summers at home after doing college volunteer work in Shea’s administrative section or leading the Pig Race fundraiser.

Are there any particular stories or memories that stand out during their 20 years of “rein”?

Susie Roof, who is also a licensed physiotherapist, said she sees things from a medical perspective.

“I see mainstream medicine can only take a child with serious medical needs up to a certain point, and then the doctors send the child home with the parent and that’s basically it,” he said. she declared. “With the Shea Center, therapy is never interrupted. We have seen clients such as Michael Lewis, who has been coming to Shea since its inception 30 years ago, always attend and get something out of the program.”

Ellen Thomas pointed out that many children have siblings who play football, baseball and other sports that force them to attend every game.

“Kids who come to the Shea Center will never be able to go and do these things,” Thomas said, “but here they can and do compete in horseback riding and their siblings come to cheer them on! They have a chance too. to win trophies and medals”

This group started with Jon and Penny Fosheim here in Laguna Hills, but their generosity and community spirit was contagious enough to spread too much to their close friends and neighbors.

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