Merriman’s gives boost to Healing Horses

LIHU‘E — Merriman’s Kaua‘i, located in The Shops at Kukui‘ula, already has a reservation for the 2012 Labor Day weekend.

Carol Ayala, one of the Healing Horses Kaua‘i staff, was so thrilled with the presentation made by Stanson Chung on Thursday, she booked a spot for 2012.

“We want to be there the day before the Kaua‘i Marathon,” said Karin Stoll, the Healing Horses Kaua‘i clinical director.

Chung, who describes himself as a lower floor server and marketing helper for Merriman’s, presented a check for $1,028 to Stoll and the staff and volunteers of Healing Horses Kaua‘i, the funds representing 25 percent of food sales at Merriman’s on Sept. 3, the day before the third Kaua‘i Marathon.

“It took a lot of people to make this happen,” Stoll said. “Merriman’s does this helping to local non-profits every month, the beneficiary organization receiving a percentage of food sales on a specified date.”

Stoll said Healing Horses Kaua‘i is working to certify its instructors with the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship, or PATH, in hopes of becoming a premier facility for PATH in Hawai‘i, joining the other facility located in Windward O‘ahu.

Healing Horses Kaua‘i, currently works with about 50 riders, children or adults with developmental, physical, emotional, or cognitive challenges, Stoll said.

There is a staff of about 20 to 25 people, many volunteers, because it takes three people to handle one rider, ensuring the safety of the rider.

“Eventually, we want to expand the program to include more new riders,” Stoll said. “We have dreams of having day camps during the summer, spring and winter breaks from school, but we need land for that to happen.”

She said Healing Horses Kaua‘i, working out of a converted house in Lihu‘e, can also use volunteers.

“This partnership with Merriman’s was a really good one,” Stoll said. “We now look ahead to our golf tournament coming up Oct. 29.”

Visit www.healinghorseskauai.com or call Stoll at 632-2010 for more information.

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