Thursday, November 12, 2015

Two Days of Football, Golf, Horses, and Hope at Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic 2015

Touch your mouse to the photo below to scroll through a gallery from this event:
Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic 2015 photos: Tony Valadez

Equest’s fundraising dinner quickly transformed into an intimate rally motivated and inspired by the words of football legend and keynote speaker Mike Singletary. His renowned intensity and passion that was showcased for years on the football field served a different purpose at the third annual Equest Men’s Auxiliary Golf Classic, Nov. 1-2, at Gleneagles Country Club – to touch the heart of each and every guest. Kicking-off the two-day event, a beer and wine reception, silent auction, putting games (golf, not football!), and dinner launched the evening’s festivities before Mike Singletary took the floor. Powerful in his presentation, Singletary recognized the 50 veterans who attended the dinner as part of Equest’s Hooves for Heroes program and the numerous Equest volunteers who continually strive to make a difference every day (including his own daughter, Brooke, who is also an Equest volunteer), saying, “For any team to experience greatness, you have to have people with heart.” In his confident coaching voice, he closed, “We will finish the race, and we will win.”

While the emotional evening of Nov. 1st embraced camaraderie and team strength, the following morning was dedicated to competition and individual skills on the green! The rain clouds parted and the sun shone down as guests arrived to be greeted by Dozer, a retired police horse. Former NBA player Spud Webb downsized from a basketball to a golf ball to join in the friendly rivalry and proved he still has game as he nears his 30th Anniversary of the All Star Drunk Contest win (Feb. 8, 1986). A suspenseful Helicopter Golf Ball Drop for the chance to win $100,000, sponsored by William Noble Rare Jewels, left no participant wealthier in wallet but all the richer in heart. The top team walked away with prizes including a GPS range finder, and the last place team scored (some needed) lessons with the pros at Gleneagles. Founded in 1981, Equest provides Therapeutic Horsemanship activities and therapies to children and adults with physical, cognitive, sensory, coping and learning disabilities. The services provided include veteran programs, physical and occupational therapy, equine facilitated counseling, therapeutic carriage driving, therapeutic sports riding and competition. With the help of 45 therapy horses, 12 instructors, 4 therapists and 500 volunteers, lives are changed on a daily basis for the 300 + clients served every week. As the first PATH International Accredited Center in Texas and one of the largest in the country - Equest provides 40,000 hours of direct service each year.