Tuesday, October 07, 2008


The Reformation Continues!

The reformation of Refuge Farms will have an impact on every area of this organization. Not a single area of our structure will be untouched with the emphasis now being placed primarily on the rescue of neglected and abandoned horses. Impacts will be felt in the structure and training of the volunteer group. Impacts will be felt in the scheduling of the public’s visits. Impacts will be felt in our fundraisers and when and how we do them. Impacts will be felt in the barns by the presence and then obvious absence of those we rescue. And impacts will be felt in the make-up and focus of the Board of Directors for THE FARM.

Our new Board of Directors is energized! We met last week for discussion and I left with an appreciation for their dedication to our reformed Missions - the people we impact with our sanctuary horses and the challenge of rescuing those horses that are neglected and abused. This grouped emphasized their unity, their realization that the issues of governance were their charter, and the need for full and open communication.

So let me introduce you to this young group! A group willing to take the horse by the head (!) and guide Refuge Farms through this reformation and in to the desperate world of rescue:

Lauren E. is the Executive Director of a local county humane association. Her experience and calm demeanor is a tremendous asset at the table. Numerous times throughout our meetings, at least one of us will turn to Lauren and ask, “What do you do with this at the Humane Association, Lauren?” And of course, Lauren is a fellow rescuer of dogs and a Wisconsin Certified Humane Officer as well. She has been with us on the Board since June of this year and I’m glad to have her with us!

Jeff J. is the manager of a local credit union branch in Menomonie and a long-time friend of THE FARM. Those of you who work the Applebee’s Breakfast Fundraisers will remember Jeff as the previous manager of the Menomonie store. Jeff’s focus on customer service and human considerations is paramount to balance our decisions. A sensitive and considerate man, Jeff is likewise an animal lover and a soon-to-be-married man. In fact, the big day is yet this month! Congratulations, Jeff and Tiffany! And welcome, Jeff!

Moira K. is one of the chaplains at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and continues to lead us as our President of the Board. Moira has shown us all that she is “in there”! Not one to sit quietly by, Moira works diligently for THE FARM and provides leadership and compassion naturally. It’s her way of life! Thank you, Moira.

Craig N. is a Technical Manager of International Projects at Thomson Companies. What does that mean? It means Craig is a very busy man! A new volunteer to THE FARM, Craig immediately displayed his leadership skills and ability to “see the road in front of us”. And his heart? Well, let’s just say he knows what rescue is all about. He lives with his rescue dogs and has two horses – one of them fostered through Refuge Farms. Glad to have you, Craig!

Gloria W. is the heart of all of us rescuers rolled in to one Human Being. Gloria cries at the pictures in “the forgotten horses”. Gloria cries for those left without food and water. But she does more than cry! She acts! Gloria has returned to us with the announcement of our reformation and was so excited that we were moving to a rescue organization! Her telephone message is one that I have saved and I replay it when I get “stuck in the muck”. And yes, she cried. Her heart is big. Her focus is clear - rescue those that are neglected and abandoned. Rescue and then move forward and save more lives. So glad to have you back, Gloria!

So there you have it – the Refuge Farms Board of Directors. Please remember them in your prayers and be grateful that such leadership has stepped forward to guide us through this reformation. There is much work to do and many lives to save. However, we do not lack the dedication or commitment to the tasks in this group!

Welcome to all of you and my personal thanks. The journey isn’t an easy one and we have many conversations in front of us. I am grateful for your willingness to serve and to support the drive to rescue. I look forward to meeting and saving lives with you!

Enjoy the journey of each and every day,
Sandy and The Herd

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