SMART Picnic 11/8/2014


Have you of evr wondered what do our charities really do?  Members of the LWRWC had the chance to find out about SMART with a tour and lunch outside under the trees.


WHEN: Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 10:30 am

LUNCH: Caesar salad, artisan breads and frittatas

A group from Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club  spent a memorable, day touring the Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART) located at 4640 CR 675 E. Bradenton, Florida.

SMART is a remarkable 23 acre equestrian facility that fills a crucial need for effective and affordable therapeutic activities for children (ages 5 and over) and adults with a wide range of physical, emotional or cognitive disabilities regardless of their financial circumstances.

In 2014, SMART served over 400 participants and their families from Manatee, Sarasota and surrounding counties and over 60 % of SMART students receive scholarship funding.

The visit brought the SMART experience to life as the LWRWC women witnessed SMART Riding students demonstrating skills, self-confidence and independence achieved through their connection to the horses during therapeutic riding and carriage driving.


Lakewood Ranch Women’s Club Members experience the inspiration of SMART on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

Also pictured; SMART Board Member, Nick Drizos (2nd row between LWRWC incoming President Patti Wrobel on Nick’s right and Trish Newman, outgoing president on Nick’s left), SMART Executive Director, Gail Clifton, (next to Trish) and Smart Volunteer Coordinator, Diana Staab (who conducted tour) in 2nd row

One of the highlights of this truly memorable day was meeting Magic, a beautiful, bay quarter horse with no eyes. Magic, who learned to function flawlessly despite being blind, helps SMART Riders overcome their own daunting challenges and serves as an inspiration to all of us.

Through the tireless work and dedication of certified instructors, volunteers and empathic horses, SMART helps heal body, mind and spirit and make an amazing difference for every SMART participant and their families.

SMART welcomes visitors and volunteers. If you would like to visit SMART and/or are interested in volunteering, or contributing to SMART, visit website at or call 941-322-2000.