Patty Lasko: Holiday Giving

Horse people do great, unselfish things during the holidays. Take, for example, the folks in Florida who volunteer at the Caridad Center in Boyton Beach. The Caridad Center helps uninsured people (the many working poor) in the area with free health care and much more. It gives out college scholarships, provides tutoring and emergency funds and gives out backpacks and school supplies to more than 1,000 youngsters each year.

Members of the Wellington Equestrian Group are hosting the Caridad Center’s annual holiday party on Dec. 15 for more than 600 children. The venue is the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center where the Outback Steakhouse will provide food. The kids make a holiday wish list ahead of time and volunteers work all hours to secure the items. There is much to do and play during the party, but the magic moment comes when Santa arrives and gives out these special toys, including bikes, skateboards and much more.

To volunteer, donate or just find out more about the amazing Caridad Center, go to

Another great organization (also in Florida) is the Equestrian Aid Foundation. Founder Robert Dover (six-time dressage Olympian) heads this group and they do much good for injured riders who find themselves in need (

If you know of dressage folks having a holiday event for a worthy cause (such as one that benefits storm-victims), let me know and we’ll post it online.