National Ability Center 2020 fundraiser is a digital do-see-do
What: National Ability Center’s Virtual Barn Party
When: 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 6
Where: Facebook Live
Cost: Free, but donations will be accepted
The National Ability hopes the greater Park City community will kick up its heels when it moves its annual barn party fundraiser to a digital format on Saturday, June 6.
The nonprofit, which provides recreational activities for all abilities, will present the hoedown to benefit its equestrian program at 6 p.m. on its Facebook Live page, said Kyle Cowdrey, National Ability Center events manager.
The equestrian program uses horses to help people who need physical and emotional therapy, Cowdrey said.
Throughout its three-decade run, the program has served children, adults and Parlympic athletes through therapeutic riding, facilitated learning and hippotherapy, which uses horse movements for physical, occupational or speech therapy treatments, he said.
The barn party, which will be hosted by comedian Bill Engvall, a Summit County resident, and Jan Drake, NAC’s equine resource manager, will feature line-dance caller Amber Huggins, he said.
“It should be a fun way to engage families who would normally come to our physical barn party, and maybe get some new participants this year,” Cowdrey said.
Registration is free and can be done at discovernac.org/events/barn-party-2020. Donations will also be accepted on the page, Cowdrey said.
“In the background of this event, there is a huge amount of money we need to raise to keep our equestrian programs running,” he said. “It costs the NAC $180,000 a year to feed and care for our horses and keep the facilities running.”
A matching grant of $50,000 from the Huntsman Foundation will help the NAC reach the total goal, Cowdrey said.
Participants can donate by sponsoring one of the nonprofit’s horses, according to Cowdrey.
“Sponsoring a horse is, in my opinion, the most fun way to make donations,” he said. “People can visit our barn party page and pick your favorite horse and sponsor it for the entire year.”
The money will help provide food and care for the horses, according to Cowdrey.
Adding to the community-togetherness of the barn party, the National Ability Center is also offering family meals, prepared by the nonprofit’s in-house chef, Michael Morgan, for pick-up before the party. The meals, which will feed four people, cost $45.
The dinners include slow-roasted pulled pork, corn on the cob, cole slaw, brioche rolls and chocolate chip cookies, Cowdrey said.
Deadline to order meals is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, and the meals will be available for pickup from 3-5 p.m. on June 6.
“When people drive through to get their meals, they can say hi to our horses and the equestrian staff from a safe distance,” Cowdrey said.
Making the switch from a live event to a digital event was a natural thing for the National Ability Center to do, he said.
“While it provided a significant challenge, we’re all about adapting at the National Ability Center,” Cowdrey said. “The whole team came together to make this happen, and I’m excited to see how it goes.”
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