What a spectacular day we had at the Halloween Shodeo! The fourth annual Halloween Shodeo was a special day set aside to celebrate our riders and all that they have achieved. Riders got to be in the spotlight as they rode a challenging trail pattern in front of family and friends. Everyone did amazing!
The horses and humans dressed up in creative costumes and got to take part in fun Halloween activities, including a magical photo booth complete with miniature horses. For lunch, everyone enjoyed a warm bowl of chili in the chili cookoff. Congratulations go to Emily Hill for winning the competition!
Special thank you to all of the volunteers who worked to make the event run so smoothly! Thank you to the students who participated and raised funds to support the mission at Renew.
And this event could not happen without the dedicated partnership of our generous business community who sponsored this year’s riders. Thank you!
Thank You 2023 Halloween Shodeo Sponsors
Lakeshore Chiropractic, K&R Truck Sales, Shoreline Sprinkling, CL Construction, Dashmaster Automotive, Smith’s Turkey Farm, Van den berge Pest Control, Mad Cheetah/Vistacore, Lakeshore Outdoors, Jeff & Jennifer Rozeboom, Quality Door, Hop Insurance, TransWay, D&L Truck and Trailer, Venture Design & Construction, Sue Brandsen Realty, Direct Electric, Dimensional HVAC, Farmhouse Deli, Aukema & Company PC, Carpet Bonanza
A Special Bond Brings Joy and Friendship
Renew seeks to help people in our community not just survive, but to thrive – to experience life abundantly (John 10:10). We say that the arena is holy ground because that’s where miracles happen. Today we have the privilege to share a bit about the Larsen family with you. We know it will touch your heart the way it did ours! Thank you for sharing, Larsens!
Could you share a little about how you became a part of the Renew family?
We first heard about Renew this summer when I saw a post on a Facebook adoption group sharing that Renew was hosting a Pony Pals camp for foster/adoptive families. We signed all three of our kids up for the camp not really knowing just how impactful that experience was going to be for them. Our youngest had (good) tears every night because she felt so connected to her horse that week. Shortly after that, we were ecstatic to find out that Renew was also a part of the Hamilton Virtual School program, which our youngest two children are a part of. Thankfully, they were able to sign up for the fall semester of therapeutic riding lessons and just finished the first six weeks. Our oldest also volunteers for Renew as a sidewalker and helping with barn chores. Renew has become very near and dear to our hearts in a short amount of time!
How did the bake sale idea come about?
Asher and Amaya were excited to sign up for the Shodeo because they wanted to show family members their new skills and most importantly, their horses, Fresco and Lyric. When we talked with them about fundraising and asking friends and neighbors to support their ride, Asher wanted to pass out cookies too, which then evolved into having a bake sale. We sent out a neighborhood email explaining the reason for the bake sale and were overwhelmed with the positive responses.
“When we sent out the neighborhood email about the bake sale we had a few people respond with how Renew has touched their lives or other people they know. We also had several people say they had never heard of Renew but were very curious to find out more. Asher enjoyed being able to share with the neighbors his personal experience and teach others about the program.”
Allison, Asher’s mom
What does Asher enjoy and value the most about Renew?
Asher’s favorite thing about Renew is his horse, Lyric. In his words, “I just feel calm when I’m by her. I don’t want to frighten her and I want her to keep trusting me so I like giving warm hugs, saying ‘good girl,’ scratching her favorite spot on her back and petting her nose softly. I like that she is calm with me. She doesn’t use her tail like a dog to show me she likes me, she uses her mouth. Lyric is my special girl.”
Is this your first Shodeo? What prompted you to sign up and what was he looking forward to about riding in this event?
Yes, this is their first Shodeo. Anytime Asher can be a part of Renew and be with his horse, he is all in. So there was no question that if our Saturday was available whether or not we would be there. Asher was most looking forward to showing his extended family everything he can do with Lyric on the obstacle course, except the block which he says Lyric does not like. 🙂
From the bottom of our hearts, we are truly thankful for the staff members and volunteers at Renew. This has been a life changing experience for our kids.
Parade of Lights, Christmas Open House, & Carolyn Stich Painting Party
Join Us this Christmas
Come see us at the Holland Parade of Lights
Tuesday, November 28, 2023 • 6:30 pm
Staff Spotlight: Ellis Stich
Some of the staff members at Renew you may have known for years, and others you might only know by name. To help you get to know the staff a bit better, each month we will be featuring a staff member in our Staff Spotlight. This month’s spotlight is our Equine Coordinator, Ellis Stich.
Coming to Renew early in the morning awakens my senses and fills me with joy. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with the horses, students, volunteers, and staff at Renew. I am the Equine Coordinator and am responsible for the care and maintenance of our horses. I have been married to my wonderful wife, Carolyn, for 33 years and together we have two children, Peter and Rachel. Peter is married to Grace and they have a son, Parker. I am very proud of and am very blessed to have such a wonderful, loving family.
We moved to Holland 30 years ago and we love the area. Carolyn and I feel very fortunate to have raised our family in Holland and to have put down roots here. Carolyn is the owner of Carolyn Stich Studio and is the artist. Peter and his family live in Springhill, Tennessee and Rachel lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Carolyn and I enjoy traveling, visiting family, and going to live performances at Meijer Gardens and Hope College. I enjoy reading history and watching football.
My introduction to Renew was in 2017 as a volunteer at the old barn. It was great reconnecting to horses. I find the human horse connection spiritual and magical.— Ellis Stich
My work at Renew is my second career. Prior to this I was 32 years in the food business with roles in commodities purchasing and risk management and production operations. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree from Auburn University in Animal and Dairy Science and my Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University. I bleed the burnt orange and blue of Auburn and closely follow the fortunes of the Auburn football team.
My introduction to Renew was in 2017 as a volunteer at the old barn. It was great reconnecting to horses. I find the human horse connection spiritual and magical. I earned my CTRI in 2021 and joined the staff that same year. I love working outside and being active.
I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. My first experience riding a horse was at my great uncle’s farm in Selma, Alabama when I was about five or six. I was hooked. Throughout my teens I rode horses working on cattle ranches in Louisiana and Mississippi. And while in and around college and graduate school I instructed horseback riding and led pack trips and trail rides through the Teton Mountains while working on a guest ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I spent five years in Wyoming and during my last two years was able to travel around Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah buying and selling horses. My time out west was a great experience. My riding skills are almost exclusively western, but I am learning to get comfortable in english tack.
I think Renew is a very special place and I am very fortunate to be a part of it. I find my work very rewarding and I am very grateful for the opportunity.