Volunteer Appreciation!!

This week's Newsletter is dedicated to Volunteer Recognition!!

In addition to National Volunteer Appreciation week in April, RTT traditionally celebrates the achievements and contributions of our volunteers at a picnic on the shores of Sebago Lake. While COVID-19 got in the way of this lovely large gathering, RTT's staff was committed to celebrating our volunteers and reconfigured things this year into a smaller “curbside” event at the farm. On Tuesday, June 23rd, RTT's horses, Board and Staff members decorated the farm with signs and gathered (physically distanced of course!), to show appreciation for RTT's volunteers. In 2019, volunteers at Riding To The Top contributed over 11,000 hours in service valued at over $254,320!! RTT volunteers have been an integral part of the organization since it was founded by volunteers in 1993 and they continue to be the heart of the organization with volunteers saving the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. While we missed gathering for our larger celebration this year, we were glad to have been able to thank and recognize the people who did so much for RTT last year.
Here are some special shout outs from this week's Volunteer Curbside event:

27 RTT volunteers received The President’s Volunteer Service Award:

Bronze Level Awardees (Adult 100-249 hours/Young Adult 100-174 hours): Christine Blackadar, Jo Blinick, Early Bonney, Gradeigh Cameron, Janis Childs, Susan Courson, Cindy Elder, Barbara Foster, Trish Friant, Stacie Hamilton-Waldron, Margi Huber, Cathy Kelso, Fran Maxwell, Nancy Robinson and Laura Rochette.

Silver Level Awardees (250 to 499 hours/Young Adult 175-249 hours):
Mark Fuller, Julia Hamilton, Sarah Miller, Jodi Peasley, Clayton Peters, Ashley Reed, Bryony Urquhart and Liz Wood.
Gold Level Awardees (500 or more hours/Young Adult 250 or more hours): Lina Jordan, Dan Morabito, Pat Niboli and Patty Shaw

In addition, special recognition awards for outstanding service to RTT were announced
Stacie Hamilton-Waldron (Volunteer of the Year); Ashley Reed and Lilly Towle (Youth/Young Adult Volunteers of the Year); Melissa and Eric Prime (Administrative Volunteers of the Year); Susan Layton (Lesson Rookie of the Year Award); Jack DiPaola (Barn Rookie of the Year Award); Trina Bellavance (Volunteer Schooler Award) and Maureen Mathieu (Barn Volunteer of the Year).

Special Recognition for outstanding contributions to RTT were awarded to:
·       Under The Covers Band: (Volunteer Group of the Year )
·       Windham Knights of Columbus: (Volunteer Civic Group of the Year)
·       Headlight Audio-Visual: (Corporate Partner of the Year)
Leave a note for our awesome volunteers here !
Re-Opening Update
During the past several weeks, we have been working towards our Phase III Re-opening Plan--beginning with private lessons for independent clients. This has involved coordination with our staff, volunteers and clients--in other words lots of phone calls and emails. All the while, we are continuing to monitor all that is going on in the country, Maine and our community related to COVID-19. The past month we have welcomed back our Volunteer Schooling Team--individuals who work with our horses to ensure their ongoing fitness, and in this case their return to fitness after several months off from riding. It's been a bit like our early years, when before we had our indoor, we went through this process each spring getting the horses back in shape for lessons (some of you may remember this)!

We continue to seek feedback and comments on the policies and procedures we've put in place. All staff and volunteers are required to "attend" a COVID training on Zoom and as folks come back to the farm everyone gets an orientation to the "new flow" around the farm.

Beginning, Monday, June 29th, we will be resuming a small number of lessons as part of our re-opening. I promise to keep you updated and for those of you who will need to wait until later phases based on programs (Carriage Driving, hippotherapy, and clients who require more assistance), I thank you in advance for your patience as we navigate our re-opening.

Be well and as always feel free to reach out by email or phone!


892-2813, X12

RTT's phased re-opening plan can be found  here .
This is our last week offering our "curbside option" allowing visitors to drive through the barnyard and see some familiar faces (equine and human)! Our final curbside is Friday 6/26 from 2:45 to 3:45 pm! Please note, at this time visitors must stay in their cars. Please RSVP below to let us know you're coming!
**Important Information for Volunteers**
You should have received an email with a RTT Volunteer Survey and with news about upcoming COVID-19 trainings and paperwork that are now required for everyone at the farm to ensure the utmost safety for all. Trainings will be held at various times throughout the week to accommodate everyone. If you haven't seen the email or have questions/concerns, please contact Nick .
Helmet Information for ALL!
Last week in the newsletter, Marissa demonstrated the proper adjustment and fit for helmets . As we prepare to return to offering lessons on a limited basis, we are facilitating an easy way for participants and volunteers to purchase their own helmet, something we are strongly encouraging in an effort to reduce shared equipment.

Sammy’s owner, Kathleen Fox, who owns Katahdin Trail Saddlery Tack Shop in Dexter, Maine is assisting this effort by offering a very nice selection of helmets at a great price for Riding To The Top participants (clients, volunteers and staff). If you are interested, please look at the list of helmets ( Helmet Special Pricing and Information ) , measure for size ( Helmet Fit and Care Guide ) , contact Kate or Sarah for suggestions about models, and then send us your order information and payment. There will be a $2.75 shipping fee for each helmet. All helmets will be delivered to RTT.
Check out this video to see what's been going on at the farm!
Stay Connected
Follow us on Social Media
If you don't already, follow us on social media to see herd and farm updates. Find us on  Facebook  , Instagram (@ridingtothetop),  YouTube  , and on our private  RTT Participants and Volunteers group  .

Send us an e-mail
We want to  hear from you ! Tell us what you want to see from us, or just send us a hello!

Keeping Track!
Beginning in July our newsletter will be published twice a month. Look for the next newsletter July 8th! We have been packing these newsletters full of information and resources and wanted a way to keep track of it all.  This document  contains links to everything we've shared so far!
Shopping from home? Shop for RTT!
Choose RTT as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile , while you're shopping, pick out a few items on RTT's Wish List !
Riding To The Top | ridingtothetop.org