Sky Ranch Foundation to Donate Funds for Harry Wiles Memorial ArenaJuly 15, 2011
Bethesda, MD – As part of its renewed determination to make an important contribution to programs nationwide that are helping troubled boys and girls, Sky Ranch Foundation has announced that it will donate funds to help construct the Harry Wiles Memorial Arena, an indoor equine therapy facility operated by Kidz Ark in Sterling, Colo.
The facility will be used to treat troubled children from the ages of 9 to 18, and will allow the kids to work with horses during inclement weather. Kidz Ark hopes to have the pre-fabricated building constructed before the winter season. Following his passing in August 2010, more than $20,000 has been donated to Sky Ranch Foundation in memory of ABL’s former executive director Harry Wiles, for whom the arena will be named.
Sky Ranch Foundation President Ralph Aguera first made the announcement at the 2011 ABL Convention in June, noting that the Kidz Ark organization was selected for its excellence in care and location. The charitable contribution is one of the first to be made by the Foundation since its repurposing earlier this year to work with quality programs serving troubled boys and girls. When announcing the donation, Aguera spoke of Harry’s support for equine therapy.
“Harry understood how working with horses can be tremendously helpful to kids who have trouble in their relationships with people,” said Aguera.
Kidz Ark, a Therapeutic Residential Child Care Facility (TRCCF), grew out of the former Children's Ark Residential Treatment Center. The facility has specific qualifications and experiences which enable them to meet the needs of severely damaged children, including children with developmental disabilities. Several years ago, Kidz Ark began offering a specialized program: Equine therapy, with certified EAGALA therapists. Exposing the children to horses on a real ranch, they learn to love and trust in very real ways.
Wiles’ wife Cindy, was in attendance for Aguera’s announcement, calling the donation a “great gift” and sharing stories about Harry’s love of horses and his ties to Colorado. Wiles was an avid supporter of the western lifestyle and horseback riding.
“Harry was born in Boulder, Colorado, and went to summer camp there. That’s where he and his sisters learned to ride horses.”
Sky Ranch Foundation encourages those who wish to help with the extra cost of the Harry Wiles Memorial Arena to make donations through Sky Ranch Foundation. To learn more about Kidz Ark’s programs and history, visit their website at www.kidzark.org.