By Brian Bearden, TSB Contributor
Foster families will be hitting the trail on horse back in October thanks to River Ranch Educational Charities in McKinney.
This summer, Storybook Ranch owner Wayne Kirk put on week-long horse back riding camps for special needs kids. Kirk also made summer camp possible for kids who couldn’t afford it.
“Storybook Ranch and River Ranch Educational Charities does so much for these kids,” said attorney Terri H. Green (pictured). “The kids have so much fun, and they give each kid a lot of attention.”
Green, who serves on the Child Protective Services 10-member board of directors, has lined up Storybook Ranch for an Oct. 20 Foster Family event during Oktoberfest. The event will run from 1 to 4 p.m.
County Sheriff Terry Box and County Judge Keith Self have been rounded up and will serve as trail bosses when Storybook Ranch on Custer Road near Stonebridge.
The Collin County for Kids event will have trail rides, washer and horse shoe pitching contests, a barbecue lunch, face-painting, and more horseback riding.
Foster kids will be wearing a red bandana, and the outing will include a Halloween costume contest, pony and horse rides, a chaps and spurs photo shoot at the old west town of “Dry Bones” at Storybook as well as some surprises. About 250 will be invited, including families and volunteers.
County commissioners, judges and more dignitaries will be serving as team captains at the event for the washer and horse shoe contests as well as the trail riding with families and kids.
“This will be a good way for us to show what our program does to help the kids and families,” Green said.”We want to show the families we are thankful for all they do in taking care of these kids.”
Donations and volunteers are welcome. Contact Green at 214-727-8587.
WHAT DOES THE CPS BOARD DO?
The CPS board hosted a June event for the Foster kids at Studio Movie Grill. December’s event will be Breakfast with Santa.
The Collin County Commissioner’s Court appoints local citizens to serve on the Collin County CPS Board. Each commissioner and Judge nominates individuals from their precinct at which time the entire Commissioner’s Court votes on the nominee, who serves until they resign or are removed.
The mission of the CPS Board, which has no term limit, is to provide leadership to achieve excellence in the protection, care, support services and utilization of resources to enrich and enhance the quality of lives of abused children and their families in Collin County.
Green said the CPS Board is responsible for overseeing the distribution of a County budget for the foster children. In addition, the board has its own funds to spend on foster children received from grants, jury funds, donations and conducting fundraising events as well.
The board meets once a month in the Children’s Advocacy Center. The Children’s Advocacy Center will be opening a new satellite office to serve McKinney, Prosper, Frisco, Princeton, Anna, Blue Ridge and Farmersville in October. The new address is 1500 S. Central Expressway #100, west of U.S. 75 between Eldorado Parkway and Virginia. CPS also has a satellite office at 2205 Los Rios Drive in Plano.
Storybook Ranch’s 80 acres on McKinney’s west side at 3701 Custer Road hosted summer camps for ages 6 to 13 from June 4 to Aug. 24, including two weeks of discounted “Special Buckaroo” programs.
Storybook has raised more than $125,000 for charity in the past year.
Each camper receives horse safety and equipment education, water activities and adventures. On Friday, the campers have a rodeo roundup.
“We are here for the kids,” said Kirk, who strives to keep the area’s Western heritage alive within the city limits. “Kids love riding horses, and some of them return every summer.”
Storybook Ranch offers trail rides seven days a week by reservation. Pony rides are available for smaller kids. Storybook Ranch is also a popular place for hayrides, riding lessons, dinner theatre, weddings, parties and business events and because of its petting zoo, camp fires and pumpkin patch.
Storybook Ranch: http://www.storybookranch.org/