SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
DURHAM: WindReach Farms is hosting their 27th annual “A Night At WindReach Farms” Gala, and it is set to be the biggest one yet.
On September 16th, hundreds of people will meet at the Alexander J. Mitchell Equestrian Centre on WindReach Farms, for a gourmet three course dinner and high energy entertainment.
“The meal last year was stunning. I had people tell me this is the best gala meal they have ever been to,” said Carol Dahlquist, event organizer.
Back by popular demand, the Leahy family is returning for their second year at the gala, to perform live Celtic music, which includes fiddling, tap dancing, and singing.
“They are the most energetic, full of life entertainers, you ever will see. Last year I had a household of people yelling, on their feet, clapping, it was just amazing,” Carol said. “They are infectious and joyous entertainment.”
The Leahy family has nine children, the oldest six perform, along with the mother and father.
“They’re very talented. When you see these little six year olds tapping and playing the fiddle, as well as singing at the same time, it’s really quite amazing,” Carol said.
The Leahy’s aren’t the only entertainment for the Gala, public speaker, author, and Oshawa Councillor, Dan Carter will be the event’s guest emcee and is a great host, according to Carol.
“He’s a character, he’s well known and he’s quite seasoned as an emcee and he’s very entertaining,” she said.
There will also be both live and silent auctions, and a 50/50 raffle, to help raise money for the services offered at WindReach Farms.
WindReach Farms is aimed towards providing life changing programs and services to people of all ages and abilities. The founder of Windreach Farms, Sandy Mitchell, was born with cerebral palsy and recognized the importance of an accessible farm and natural environment for individuals with special needs.
“The things we do in our programming is life changing for people. We have children who start in our riding programs that don’t know how to walk and their three years old and within a few months they’re actually walking,” Carol said.
WindReach Farms focuses on offering all sorts of different recreational farm-based activities to people of all abilities. Some of these activities include: horseback riding, archery, para-cycling, volleyball, trail exploration, pond studies, and wildlife education.
Carols has witnessed first-hand how people benefit from the programs offered at WindReach Farms, and it motivates her to continue the great work that is being done.
“I actually see the life changing things that we do every single day. It’s inspiring, it makes me passionate and committed to what I’m doing, in terms of building awareness and bringing funds into the farm,” Carol said.
She added, “If you know of anybody or are touched by anybody with special needs bring them here.”
The gala has grown rapidly over the past few years, from around 120 people to almost 300, after moving the venue to the Alexander J. Mitchell Equestrian Centre. This year they anticipate close to 400 people will be at the gala, making it the biggest one yet.
“It’s pretty exciting to have that many people in the room at once, supporting such an amazing cause,” Carol said.
To buy a ticket or sponsor this event email email@example.com, or call Carol at 905-655-5827. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased online, at http://windreachfarm.org/events/a-night-at-windreach-farm/.
WindReach Farms is located at 312 Town Line Rd, Ashburn.
The gala will begin at 5:00 p.m. and end at 11:00 p.m., and Carol encourages everyone in the area to buy a ticket and come out.
“You come, you have a wonderful time, you are entertained, and you’re supporting a great cause, what better reason to come,” she said.
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