‘Sheriff’ Phill Richmond, the executive director at Oak Ranch, gives pony rides to children at its annual WIld West Family Fun Day Sunday
500 TAKE PART IN TRAIL RIDE | Annual event at Oak Ranch
SANFORD – Approximately 500 members of the community and volunteers participated in the “Wild West Family Day and Trail Ride” on Saturday, May 31 benefitting Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH). The event took place at BCH’s Oak Ranch, a 755-acre residential property just outside of Sanford that helps children and families in crisis.
“The event was a tremendous blessing,” said Oak Ranch director Phill Richmond. “The community and our sponsors really embraced the day and made it a success. We are thankful for everyone’s support.”
The event offered fun for the entire family including crafts, puppet shows, a climbing wall, and face painting for children as well as live gospel music, horse demonstrations, and horse and buggy rides. The event also included a benefit trail ride where horse owners could ride Oak Ranch’s expansive trails. Proceeds from the trail ride, and also from the home-cooked chicken and barbecue lunches served, helps the nonprofit childcare institution provide care for boys and girls.
“Baptist Children’s Homes depends on the generosity of others to meet the tremendous needs of the children,” said BCH president Michael C. Blackwell. “We care for hundreds of children each year through multiple care facilities across the state including Oak Ranch in the Lee County area. This event provides the community an opportunity to support our boys and girls and learn more about the services BCH provides.”
Oak Ranch provides residential care for boys and girls at the properties two cottages. Child care workers and social work staff members work with both the children and their families to help them overcome their challenges. Oak Ranch provides a unique equine therapy service where children work with the ranch’s 10 horses and a horse expert. Interacting and caring for the horse’s helps children learn important responsibilities and other values that can be transferred and utilized in their homes and communities.
Wild West Family Day was organized by BCH staff members with the help of friends and supporters. Primary sponsor First Bank donated $10,000 towards the event. Other sponsors included The Sanford Herald, the Sanford Coca Bottling Company, and numerous area businesses and organizations.
BCH is already discussing next year’s event.
“This was such a great day, and it was a privilege to provide an event that could be enjoyed by the entire family,” Blackwell said. “Baptist Children’s Homes has a heart for children and families, and we look forward to doing this again next year.”
Since 1885, Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina has helped children and families. BCH began with one campus, Mills Home in Thomasville, but now provides services in sixteen communities across the state.
(Press release provided by Oak Ranch)