Corporate sponsor Halliburton was recognized at the gala by board chairman Michelle Little (r) and MG Tindall at the Denim and Diamonds gala
The Denim and Diamonds gala in The Woodlands did plenty of good. (Photo by Gerri Francis)
Marty and Denny MacGuire made an impact at the Denim and Diamonds gala in The Woodlands.
Danica Hunt shared the story of her time at Inspiration Ranch after an MS diagnosis had her suffering with depression.
Jennifer Sanchez, left, and MG Tindall took the stage after Sanchez told the story of her daughter's 10 years at the ranch. (Photo by Gerri Francis)
Inspiration Ranch’s 15th annual “Denim and Diamonds” gala, honoring corporate sponsor Halliburton and ranch founding board members Marty and Denny McGuire, raised more than $650,00 and gave Inspiration Ranch’s president and CEO MG Tindall a chance to share highlights from the year. A bedazzled crowd in The Woodlands was impressed to hear that the number of those in need helped by the ranch grew 50 percent in the last year, reaching 122 riders.
Inspiration Ranch’s goal is to fund 150 riders. But with more than 70 on the waiting list, more funding is critical.
Inspiration Ranch opened in 2007 and moved to its current location in Magnolia in 2019. It provides therapeutic horseback riding, speech therapy and mental health services.
“The gala is such an important part of our fundraising efforts, and we are so grateful to our community for their continued support,” Tindall says. “It was definitely an evening that we will remember for a long time.”
After hearing about the ranch’s pressing needs, auctioneer Vikki Vines kept the live auction “lively” with tennis bracelets from Mark Pharo, ranch dinners, hunting trips from Hill County Hunting, Insperity Invitational golf tournament packages and private dinners from Amerigo’s, Tris and Kirby’s Steakhouse raising much-needed funds.
The ranch is looking to add therapy horses, add instructors and expand programming to allow them to serve more of those in need of its services.
The gala crowd certainly seemed touched by the success stories of Inspiration Ranch participants. Take Danica Hunt, a former gymnast who got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2019. She started at the ranch as a rider in January and talked passionately about the impact that her horse Mo has had on her depression, strength, stability and confidence. She told the crowd that the ranch is a place where she feels accepted with her disability.
“Inspiration Ranch pushed me out of my comfort zone,” Hunt says. She thanked two ranch staffers — Darlene Cary and Noel Plutto — in particular for their kindness and compassion while working with her.
Jennifer Sanchez shared the story of her daughter Sophia‘s time at Inspiration Ranch. Sophia started at the ranch as a 6-year-old with multiple neurological disorders which made walking challenging and communication difficult. Jennifer was moved to tears sharing the impact that Sophia’s Thursday visits to the ranch make in her life. They bring a sense of belonging and community for the family.
The mom thanked the crowd for the strength and hope found at Inspiration Ranch.
“It takes a village for those raising a child will special needs,” Jennifer Sanchez reminded the crowd. Sanchez shared that Sophia has made great strides in her time at the ranch in her mobility, noting what a joy her therapy there is for her.
Now that’s an inspiration.