Trying to get back in the saddle

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HUNLOCK CREEK, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An abrupt eviction has thrown a local non-profit organization off its saddle. Although the organization is getting back on its feet, there are ways to help.

Cal is among the horses at Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center just roaming around, trying to get used to a new home.

“The rug was kind of pulled out from right under us,” board member Sharon Chorba said.

The non-profit was notified in mid-September that the property they were renting from was sold.

“It seemed like we had just put in a lot of volunteer work and we were getting things pretty much on their feet and headed in the right direction,” Chorba said.

But instead, they got an eviction notice. Not only did Serendipity need to find a new space for their programs, so did its executive director and her daughter.

“I owe these horses and the 34 children that come and ride with me and adults that come and ride with me. I owe them to keep going,” executive director Sarah Russoniello said.

Board member Jeanette Elbattah’s seven-year-old son Roman benefits from the programs at Serendipity. He has a rare condition called Ollier’s Disease. It’s left him with bone tumors in his thighs. In the past couple of months of riding these horses, Elbattah has already seen a change.

“At his last doctor’s appointment down in Delaware, they commented about how much straighter his spine has become. And they asked what we were doing differently, and I told them it was therapeutic horseback riding,” Elbattah said.

Even though Serendipity found this facility in Hunlock Creek, programs are temporarily on hold during this transition period. Plus, the property is a major fixer-upper. Serendipity wants to have an indoor riding area so that their clients can utilize Cal’s services during the winter when it is cold outside.

The non-profit is struggling to come up with the improvements that need to be made. It’s looking for the community’s support to get their clients back on these horses and back towards recovery.

Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center is holding an upcoming fundraiser. It’s happening on Sunday, November 24th from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Riverstreet Jazz Cafe in Plains Township.

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