MONROE TOWNSHIP, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– Silver Springs Ranch has been under work for the last three and a half years. Now, it’s race day and they are trying to give back to the community.
Ken Churchill saw potential to revitalize the property and get the ball rolling on giving back to the community–on top of positioning the ranch to be the premier equestrian center in the region.
“This is one of the benefits of being a really good training facility. We’re a facility where trainers and horses will come and stay here. They’ll train here. They’ll transport to different tracks,” said Churchill. “They’ll go to Yonkers, Harrah’s and they go to Pocono. Pocono is the closest one to here, the Mohegan Sun. They are going to close their barns once this season is over. We have plans in for the next barn because we are only 18 miles from Pocono. We’re a stellar facility. The horses that work and train here win races and do really well.”
Churchill’s partner Ron Walsh keeps things going smoothly at the ranch and has been integral in building up to the fair races.
“It’s a massive undertaking for this event with all the sponsors and all the people that work here, especially Ken Churchill–it wouldn’t be possible without him,” said Walsh. “We were lucky to be awarded an event, the two-day fair race, that the state provides [providing there is a beneficiary] and we’re hoping to get as much exposure out of this as we can to let everybody know where we’re at.”
Over the two-day fair race event, everyone is getting in on the action. Kunkle Fire Department has your high flying flag at the top of a ladder and is cooking up some barbecue. All proceeds from the $5 per car parking go to the United Way of Wyoming County–that’s on top of 10 percent of proceeds coming from local vendors.
Among those vendors is Buka, who has been finding ways to support local communities in the region as part of the Back Mountain Chamber of Commerce. Betty Jo Povilaitis is a sales associate and event coordinator with Buka and says businesses have been working together more recently to support one another as well as causes within the communities.
“Local business and vendor events with artisans–it’s become very popular and people do want to support the local businesses while getting the community together,” said Povilaitis. “This is a great event that is doing that. Most people didn’t know this existed and you’re getting a bunch of people on beautiful days to come together, hang out, eat food, shop and give back to the community.”
The proceeds from this event, which wraps up Friday night will go to help Wyoming County United Way Executive Director, Kristen Huff, on her mission. She says that Wyoming County has some major businesses that donate regularly.
“We really need those local donors, smaller businesses and anyone in Wyoming County that can lend a helping hand,” said Huff. “We completely depend on it, so for something like this to come up and say ‘hey, we want to help your United Way’–this is a huge thing for us.”
Some new help in the effort is coming from a recently appointed board member in Lexie Langan, who says events like these do wonders for the cause.
“I think it’s a beautiful thing,” said Langan. “It’s a beautiful setting on a beautiful day and they are doing it for a beautiful cause.
Ownership wants Silver Springs Ranch to be the premier equestrian center in the region but understands that it’s more about giving back to the community. This is the first of many events and ventures that Churchill and company want to execute to further revitalize the area.
“There comes a time when you get to give back and this is one of those times,” said Churchill.