HORSES FOR HOPE - Paul Kalke

HORSES FOR HOPE - Paul Kalke

‘Horse of Hope’ hosting major auction Oct. 3

A groundbreaking charitable program in the Wetaskiwin area is truly “hoping” generous local residents will help it get off the ground.

A groundbreaking charitable program in the Wetaskiwin area is truly “hoping” generous local residents will help it get off the ground.

“Horses for Hope” is a program of Hope Mission, which operates a nearby ranch and is looking to raise funds to get “Horses for Hope” rolling along.

According to their website, Hope Mission is a not-for-profit Christian social care agency founded in 1929 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Hope Mission operates Horses of Hope ranch, formerly known as Bethany Homes, east of Wetaskiwin.

“Located 14 km east of Wetaskiwin, Bethany Homes is situated on 140 beautiful acres,” stated the Hope Mission website. “Bethany Homes is a Hope Mission ministry offering opportunities for gardening. Making this program available to local schools and groups, we hope to partner with our community in delivering a support service for children and youth.”

“Horses of Hope” is a program to teach youth how to ride and interact with horses with the goal of developing character, with a Christian philosophy.

Wetaskiwin business owner Paul Kalke heard through the grapevine that the program was struggling to get off the ground. He said he’d been asking around after hearing a new riding arena was built, and as a horseman he was curious.

“That’s how we became aware of the need out there,” he said.

Kalke said he and many people he knew were sympathetic to Hope Mission’s goal of helping youth through horsemanship, so they sat down over coffee and talked about what the community could do to help “Horses for Hope.” They decided a live and energetic auction Oct. 3 at Horses for Hope ranch would be a great idea.

Organizers have a goal of raising $50,000 for the youth program, and are conducting a search for an auctioneer right now.

Kalke said volunteers and organizers are also asking the community to support the auction by donating goods and services. Kalke said virtually any item or service of integrity will be gratefully accepted. Items could be big like a vehicle or set of golf clubs, homemade like baking, off the shelf like hunting equipment or services like fitness classes or a vehicle oil change.

“We’re hoping to attract a live horse as well,” said Kalke.

Organizers are going to have coffee, music and an open facility to tour, complimentary barbeque and a presentation by Rick Benson of Triple Seven Ranch located in Ferron, Utah. Benson is a Christian horseman who helps Hope Mission with their equine program. The highlight of the day will be the live auction.

More information about the auction will be published in The Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer when it becomes available. Kalke said more information, or donation details, is available by contacting himself at 780-361-5545, Eldon Langerud at 780-312-1073 or Leonard Ohlmann at 780-699-7740.