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Non-profit ranch receives more than $1,000 in donations after arena collapse

Posted at 3:52 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 18:02:06-04

BOZEMAN – Weeks ago, work at the Serenity Ranch near Belgrade — which helps both horses and women veterans — stopped in its tracks when the ranch’s training arena collapsed under piles of snow.

Now, with word just getting out there, despite the tragic collapse help is on the way.

“I’m just grateful,” says Susanne Carter. “I just know I live in a wonderful place.”

For executive director and Serenity Ranch founder Susanne Carter, the destruction has only slowed her down but never stopped her. Same goes for her daughter and COO Lisa LeDoux.

“We haven’t been able to work horses but, you know, which is a sad thing with this wonderful weather,” Carter says. “It’s just, everything carries on the same.”

“We are continuing to fund-raise and really depend on donations so that we can provide our veteran program this summer,” said LeDoux.

LeDoux said shortly after the arena buckled, the community stepped up, in full.

“From this, we’ve raised over $1,100 which is fantastic and we’re so, so thankful,” she said. “It’s really helped and we’ve also had some other organizations reach out to us that want to help. Warriors for Quiet Waters reached out to us, wanting to assist with offering their volunteers and their assistance so it’s been a wonderful story and it’s just been very helpful.”

LeDoux added that the community has gone even further than just the donations following this massive arena damage.

She said the interest in volunteering has also gone up.

“It’s been wonderful,” LeDoux said. “We’ve kind of been putting a little bit of our volunteers outreach on hold. We were waiting for the nicer weather and we need help with riding and training, as well.”

With 90 horses, many coming from dark or wild pasts, both mother and daughter say every little bit makes a difference.

“It just makes me feel really grateful and very happy because what we work so hard for and are working so hard for is to help those horses in need that have been through neglect and trauma, themselves, and to help female veterans,” LeDoux said. “It’s kind of the silver lining in a tragedy for us.”

“It’s a wonderful town to live in,” said Carter. “The community is amazing and I’ve been here 15 years and know a lot of people, but it’s just been wonderful.”

LeDoux said a little bit of help could go a long way, and anyone interested has a chance to do that from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 at Serenity Ranch, when they are going to be holding a fundraiser and open house.

You can also donate directly from their website and find out more details about the upcoming fundraiser on the ranch’s Facebook event page.

Reporting by Cody Boyer for MTN News