Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center Serving all individuals with unique abilities and health needs

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Univest donates $1140 to Ivy Hill during 140 Forward Initiative

SOUDERTON, Pa., June 8, 2016 – Since 1876, Univest has been dedicated to supporting the neighborhoods it serves and living out its core value of “community.” This month, as it celebrates its 140th anniversary, Univest will make a $1,140 donation each week chosen from stories submitted by Univest employees. The initiative, called 140 Forward, asked Univest employees how they would use $1,140 to pay it forward. From the employee submissions, five recipients were selected representing causes throughout the Univest service area of Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh and Philadelphia counties.

This month’s second recipient of the $1,140 donation is Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center located in Perkasie, Bucks County. The center creates therapeutic programs for individuals with cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological needs utilizing the equine experience. It functions on the simple equation that horses + love = hope. Founded in 1999, Ivy Hill currently serves more than 170 riders with 15 therapy horses, 22 staff members and 100 volunteers.  To learn more about Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center or make a donation, visit www.ivyhillequestrian.org.

Janet Whitehead, Univest’s assistant director of Human Resources, and Univest employee, Karen Strychowski, present a check for $1,140 to Megan Hance, program director, Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center, and Chris Brockett, president and CEO, Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center. They are joined by riders Abby, Alex, Aleena, Aaron and therapy pony, Pebbles. Univest is celebrating its 140th anniversary with the “140 Forward” initiative which awards $1,140 each week of June to a recipient selected from employee nominations.  Ivy Hill 6.10.16

About Univest Corporation

Univest Corporation of Pennsylvania (UVSP), including its wholly-owned subsidiary, Univest Bank and Trust Co., has $2.8 billion in assets and $3.1 billion in assets under management and supervision through its Wealth Management lines of business. Headquartered in Souderton, Pa. and founded in 1876, the Corporation and its subsidiaries provide a full range of financial solutions for individuals, businesses, municipalities and nonprofit organizations in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Univest delivers these services through a network of more than 50 offices in southeastern Pennsylvania extending to the Lehigh Valley, Maryland and online at www.univest.net.


Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center received a $4000 grant from the Genuardi Family Foundation to support equine-assisted activities. The Pieces of Freedom Program Grant, which focuses on therapeutic offerings for riders with moderate to severe autism, was awarded as part of the Genuardi Family Foundation’s 2016 Core Grant Cycle.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Genuardi Family Foundation, we are proud to partner with your organization, and support its important work,” read the award notification from Meredith A. Huffman, Executive Director of the Genuardi Family Foundation.

Since 2001, the Genuardi Family Foundation supports non-profit providers of direct service whose work supports their core values of Family, Community, Hard Work, Generosity, Accessibility and Responsiveness, and Humility.

“Our equine-assisted activities work because individuals and organizations like the Genuardi Family Foundation have made a commitment to support the development of healthy individuals,” said Ivy Hill President and CEO Chris Brockett.

“That enables us to fulfill our mission: to create therapeutic programs for individuals with cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological needs utilizing the equine experience.“

“We are proud to have the Genuardi Family Foundation as a partner in our work,” Brockett said.

Joe Mason Podcast with Ivy Hill!

The Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Perkasie pairs horses with people who need a little help. Donna Carlson, Development Director of the center, talks about success stories with the nonprofit,  explains why she got involved with them, and details the great experiences she’s had since coming on-board.       ivyhillequestrian.org


Ivy Hill Therapeutic Riding Receives 2016 Best of Chalfont Award

CHALFONT March 1, 2016 — Ivy Hill Therapeutic Riding has been selected for the 2016 Best of Chalfont Award in the Riding Academies category by the Chalfont Award Program.

Each year, the Chalfont Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Chalfont area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Chalfont Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Chalfont Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Chalfont Award Program

The Chalfont Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Chalfont area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Chalfont Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Chalfont Award Program

Chalfont Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@awardconnections.org
URL: http://www.awardconnections.org

Wine and Cheese Event

A wonderful evening of friend-raising, gratitude and goodwill took place at the barn on February 13. Thanks to all who came out in the cold to join us in our first Wine and Cheese Event for Valentines Day – Love was all around!

We thank Laurie Heuckeroth, AVP/Brach Manager, and Todd Hurley, VP of Penn Community Bank for sponsoring a Bonnie Sames Rider, Koehler’s Jewelers for the donation of a beautiful heart necklace, Wegman’s for our delicious fruit and cheese, and all of our donors who sponsored the wine pull.

We celebrated the dedication of our Tack Room, with a plaque unveiling attended by Foundation Community PartnersTack Roomhip’s Associate Director, Caroline Sinton,  and Dr. Nancy Miller, FCP Board of Directors, for awarding Ivy Hill a $10,000 grant for the construction of the room.

Congratulations to Sophia and Quinn Boquist !!

Congratulations to Sophia Boquist for receiving her Congressional Award Bronze Certificate!  Sophia has given 30 hours of volunteering here at Ivy Hill.  She was recognized by the United States CongressBoquist Family for her service, and for achieving her goals in physical fitness (competitive diving), personal development (piano), and a wilderness expedition she planned (an 8.8 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail).  Sophia loves to ride, and decided that volunteering at Ivy Hill was great way to help her community and share her love for horses.  We welcome Sophia’s efforts at Ivy Hill as she continues toward the Silver Certificate.

Congratulations also to Quinn Boquist, her brother, for earning his Abilities Awareness belt loop and pin badges through Cub Scouts.  Quinn came to visit Ivy Hill and volunteered some hours with his sister as he discovered how our Ivy Hill family serves the needs of our community.  For these badges, he also had to leaBoquist Family IIrn about the different types of challenges those with special needs face, whether physical, mental, or learning.  Additionally, Quinn read about a famous person with special needs, used several different mobility aids, and simulated a loss of his hearing for two hours.  We are pleased to be a part of this learning experience for Quinn.

Rob Boquist, their father, is 26-year veteran of the US Air Force.  When he recently retired from service, his family decided that Bucks County was the place they wanted to live.  “We love it here, and my wife and I want our children to grow up as caring and compassionate people who contribute in their community.  Volunteering at Ivy Hill helps us build that character in our children.”

The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. The program is open to all 14- to 23-year-olds; young people may register when they turn 13 1/2 years old and must complete their activities before their 24th birthday. Participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Certificates and Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas; Volunteer Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning the Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you’d like to try for the first time.  Go to http://congressionalaward.org/ for more information.


Foundations Community Partnership Presents Grant to Ivy Hill

Ron Bernstein, Executive Director, and Caroline Sinton, Associate Director of Foundations Community Partnership, presented the Ivy Hill Foundation with a Bucks Innovative Improvement Grant for $7,500 on December 11, at the new facility located at 1811 Mill Road.

The grant will be used to fund the 4-Gait Project, a collaborative effort with the Penn Foundation’s REACH and Wellspring Clubhouse programs, designed to improve communication, relationship and job skills for young adults with cognitive and emotional challenges.

“We are excited about creating innovative and collaborative partnerships with Bucks County organizations that will have a synergistic impact on the young adults in our community who face personal challenges every day,” said Ivy Hill Foundation President Chris Brockett.

“We are so grateful for this grant.”

Foundations Community Partnership (FCP) is a nonprofit foundation formed to improve the quality of life for special needs children, youth and families in Bucks County, by establishing collaborative partnerships linking public agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, colleges and young adults within our community, and providing grants and technical assistance to non-profit organizations.

Since 1999, Ivy Hill has provided equine-assisted activities and therapeutic programs for children and adults with special needs as well as financial, social and emotional support for their families and caregivers. Services include therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, equine-facilitated learning and summer camp. Ivy Hill also provides competition training for participation in Special Olympics, off-site competitions and Home Shows. Lessons are customized to the needs and goals of each individual rider.

To sponsor a horse or a rider at Ivy Hill, or for donation opportunities, contact Development Director Donna Carlson at dcarlson@ivyhillequestrian.org , or visit our website www.ivyhillequestrian.org.

Foundations l-r: Ron Bernstein, Executive Director, FCP; Caroline O’Connell Sinton, Associate Director, FCP; Donna Carlson, Development Director, Chris Brockett, President, Ivy Hill Foundation;   Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center.


The riders of Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center rode in their first Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 5, as a part of the Souderton-Telford Holiday Parade.

The theme was celebrating 100 years of service for Harleysville Savings Bank, and each float was asked to have a number theme.

Ivy Hill’s theme was “16 Years of Horses, Love and Hope!” The float was populated by riders, parents, caregivers and instructors.

“It was a great time,” said World Games Olympic Champion Lisa Berlin, who wore her three Olympic medals and rode in the front of the float, waving at the crowds.

“This is a great way to share our story, and reach out to our neighbors and community,” said development Director Donna Carlson.

“It’s a great time for our riders as well – it’s so exciting to be in a parade,” she added.

The mission of Ivy Hill Foundation is to create therapeutic programs for individuals with cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological needs utilizing the equine experience. At Ivy Hill, Horses + Love = Hope.


To sponsor a horse or a rider at Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center, to make a donation or for more information, visit our website at www.ivyhillequestrian.org.


Alex, Geena and Briana get ready to practice their waving technique.


In a cozy room overlooking the indoor ring at Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Bucks County Commissioners Robert G. Loughery, chairman, Charles H. Martin and Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia, LCSW held a 30-minute meeting on Wednesday, October 21 that focused on Agricultural Land `Preservation among other business.

Following a brief welcome by President/CEO Chris Brockett, who discussed the history of Ivy Hill, Development Director Donna Carlson spoke about the center’s benefits. She noted the facility has 17 therapeutic horses and 170 riders, ranging in age from 3 to 82. All riders have some type of physical, psychological, mental and/ or other disability. “We utilize the horses as a therapy tool, to help them with communication, to help them with physical strength, to help them with how they relate to others, to people, to animals, and the results are amazing,” stated Ms. Carlson. She went on to stay that the riders all get a chance to participate in competition, announcing that one of the riders received two silver and a gold medal in last summer’s Special Olympics.The contract resolution portion of the meeting featured the unanimous approval of 19 agreements involving 12 County departments. Among them, Human Services departments made up a quarter, with two contracts for home delivered meals through the Area Agency on Aging, one through Children and Youth to renew the contract with Karen Kreller to facilitate the Truancy Reduction and Curfew for kids program, and two through Mental Health/Developmental Programs, one with Mary Garrett Itin for providing services for the Healthy Transitions Program and one with Voice and Vision to renew the contract for the consumer satisfaction team and peer support services.

Kicking off the business agenda were a pair of Agricultural Preservation agreements, both in upper Bucks County. The Landis Farm, with its fields of hay, is located in Haycock Township and was fifth on the wish list in the 2015 round of applications. The 183rd farm preserved is situated between and around five other preserved farms and consists of 38.06 acres. The Willauer Farm, which was third on the wish list in the 2015 round of applications, was the 184th farm preserved in Bucks County. Located by the John Fries Highway in Milford, the farm boasts hay and soybeans and has an apiary producing raw honey.

In the General Services realm, the board approved a one-year, $26,500 contract with Lafferty Chevrolet of Warminster to purchase repair parts for county vehicles.  The agenda also included a contract increase to Home Depot for $10,000 to provide repair and maintenance supplies for county bridges and buildings. On the revenue side, $18,000 will be coming in from the rental of county property located at 510 Creek Road in Doylestown.

The Health Department reached an agreement with CFG Health Systems, LLC for $701,952.26 which will provide counseling and mental health services at the correctional facilities through September, 2016. On the revenue side, the Commissioners also approved the renewal of the grant for the WIC (Women, Infant, Children) program.

In other news, COO Brian Hessenthaler praised the Drug Take Back event that took place on October 18, noting that roughly 7,100 pounds of unused medications were taken, bringing the total to over 30 tons since the events began in the county four years ago. Chief Clerk Lynn Bush talked about another type of take-back event, electronic recycling. Ms. Bush informed the audience about an electronic recycling event taking place on November 7 at the Quakertown Pool.

Commissioner Martin commended those involved in the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony that occurred Sunday, Oct. 18 in the Doylestown Memorial Courtyard. He added that even the small interruption of some companies leaving for a fire did not dampen the spirit of the day of remembrance.

Noting that the “arms” to stop traffic at the CSX rail crossing on Woodbourne Rd. always get stuck, Commissioner Marseglia asked if that is something that happens in other places. She added that between the DVRPC and SEPTA they should be able to get something done to fix it, eliminating the traffic congestion after the train passes.

Commissioner Loughery ended the meeting thanking all those involved in the Emergency Communications Radio project. The cutover to the new system, which occurred over the weekend of October 17-18, ensures emergency personnel throughout the county will have the highest level of public safety equipment.

The next meeting of the Board of Bucks County Commissioners will take place at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4 at the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St., Doylestown, in the 1st Floor Community Room. For a complete audio account of the October 21, 2015 business meeting, please visit the official county website, www.BucksCounty.org, and click on the “Audio from Last Mtg” link on the home page.

Delaware Valley Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America visits Ivy Hill!

Car ClubThe Delaware Valley Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America began its annual Frost-Bite Run at Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center on Sunday, October 25 at 8:30 a.m.

The group of approximately 70 antique cars and 100 owners visited Ivy Hill for a light breakfast, facility tour and an information session on the benefits of therapeutic riding before moving on to their next stop on the Run.

Gabby Cohen demonstrated her riding skills under the direction of Program Director Megan Hance, as the Car Club members watched from the observation room.

President and CEO Chris Brockett welcomed the attendees, which included past President and board member Tony Russo and his wife Fran, along with their classic Thunderbird.  Russo addressed the crowd of over 100 antique car enthusiasts and spoke about his love for Ivy Hill’s riders and programs.

“This is a wonderful organization that does amazing work,” said Russo to the club.

“I am proud to be associated with Ivy Hill and thrilled that you are all here to see how far we’ve come in 16 years.”

The DVR presented a check and donations to President Chris Brockett totaling $900 in support of Ivy Hill’s therapeutic programs.

“We are grateful for the support of DVR’s members,” said Brockett.

“We welcome them into the Ivy Hill Family.”