October 28, 2022

‘Triple B’ celebration honors RTT’s important work

For the first time since 2019, people gathered together in person to celebrate Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center’s 14th Annual Triple B ~ Boots, Band & BBQ on Saturday, Oct. 22 in Windham.

The featured speakers at Riding To The Top's annual
Triple B celebration were Debbie Hutchinson, left, a RTT
client, and Janis Childs, a RTT volunteer.
The excitement was palpable as attendees were welcomed back into the arena, some for the first time since before the pandemic. The joy of friends dancing together once again was matched only by the outpouring of support for RTT’s programs – with the evening topping more than $200,000 to benefit the clients, horses, and programs of Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center (RTT).

This year’s event was a celebration of the community’s support of and devotion to RTT’s mission through the pandemic. It welcomed back many familiar faces.

Popular local band Under The Covers, auctioneer Elizabeth Holmstrom, and emcee Michelle Taylor of 99.9 The Wolf, all returned to donate their time and engage the attendees in enthusiastic bidding. Schilly’s Catering and Food Services offered delicious barbeque to the hungry crowd and St. Joseph’s baseball team put their base running skills to good use, collecting bid cards as hands shot into the air.

There was no greater example of the power of being present at RTT than those set by the two keynote speakers.

Debbie Hutchinson, a RTT client, shared her story and the role that RTT’s horses have played in her journey navigating Multiple Sclerosis – detailing not only the differences that riding has made to her physical health, but also how her relationship with RTT’s Paxton has improved her emotional health.

Janis Childs, a RTT volunteer and board member, took the microphone next, moving herself and the crowd to tears as she discussed the power of working with riders like Hutchinson and how the impact that the horses have on clients is always more than is known. She highlighted this with stories she was told by people after RTT had to say goodbye to a beloved member of the herd, Luke, this past summer.

Childs ended her speech by galvanizing the crowd gathered for the auction, pointing out that money is like manure – “spread it around and good things grow.”

Sarah Bronson, RTT’s Executive Director, said that the event exceeded all expectations.

“Saturday night was truly a celebration of being “Together Again”—the outpouring of support from our sponsors, table hosts, guests and the amazing crew of volunteers who helped to transform the arena leading up to the event (and putting the arena back together after the event) was simply astounding,” she said. “My deepest gratitude to everyone who was involved in making this year’s Triple B not only a night to remember but a record breaker that will help to support the clients, horses and programs at RTT as we look forward to 2023.”

This year’s event was particularly important following the rise in demand for services in 2022. The continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental and physical health of both children and adults, coupled with the closing of the second largest therapeutic riding center in Maine earlier in the year led to more people seeking out RTT’s services.

According to Bronson, as RTT works to get people off their wait list and into activities, support from the community is more vital than ever.

If you want to be part of that community, there’s still time to donate at ridingtothetop.org

All Triple B proceeds support the riders and horses of RTT. <

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