All That Jazz

WORDS Dwain Hebda
IMAGES courtesy Manes and Miracles

Bringing equine-assisted therapy to children with special needs is the goal of Manes and Miracles. The nonprofit organization provides therapeutic riding to those with a wide diversity of physical, cognitive, mental and emotional disabilities.

The group is happy to announce the return of its live event, headlined by Manes and Miracles, a semi-formal benefit slated for September 18. This year’s event will be held at the Bakery District in Fort Smith, starting at 6:00 p.m. Interest in the event has thus far been substantial, says Amber Williams-Herndon, director of development.

“We have had a great response,” she says. “People are really excited to be able to have something local that they can go to. They’re really in for a fun time in a great venue.”

Manes and Miracles employs hippotherapy, which is the use of horses to benefit individuals with various conditions. Horseback riding mimics the human gait, helping the rider improve posture, muscle control, sensory-motor skills, balance and more. The rider also makes internal progress including self-awareness, self-confidence, self-discipline and concentration, while gaining feelings of freedom and mobility they are often unable to experience on their own.

“Before we existed, the closest two facilities would be over an hour and a half drive in different directions for children to receive hippotherapy,” says Amber. “[Hippotherapy] is very unique and there aren’t very many places that offer it in the state of Arkansas.”

“Prior to just a few years back, if they were going to receive that type of treatment, they were going to have to drive a long way, once a week in order for it to be effective. That is a lot of car time for patients and their families.”

The All That Jazz fundraiser includes live music by the Don Bailey Jazz Quartet, Creole-inspired dishes by Chef Paul of PT’s Manor and live and silent auction items. Proceeds go to help the organization grow into a new facility, which when completed will feature an enclosed arena to provide all-weather access as well as more space to expand programs.

Tickets are $75 for one seat and $140 for a couple. A half-table (four seats) is $265, and a full eight-seat table is available for $500. In addition, event sponsorships are available ranging in price from $265 to $5,000. Parties or organizations interested in sponsoring the event should contact Amber at the Manes and Miracles website. Deadline to sign up as a sponsor is September 1.

All That Jazz
Benefiting Manes and Miracles 


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