The National Ability Center’s barn party is sold out, but an online auction is still open to the public

The National Ability Center’s annual barn party raises funds for its equestrian program. This year’s party is sold out, but the public can still participate and donate through an online auction from June 18-27 or through sponsorship for horse and rider.
Photo by Bailey Edelstein / National Ability Center

The National Ability Center’s Barn Party fundraiser, scheduled for June 26, is sold out, but the public can still participate in some virtual offerings to raise money for the nonprofit’s equestrian program, CEO Dan Glasser said.

One of the ways, according to Glasser, is an online auction that opens on June 18 and runs until June 27.

Some of the auction items include promotional packs and restaurant gift cards, and Glasser is grateful for the people and organizations who donated items.

“We have some great articles and it is testament to our community that we have such a diverse range of articles and gifts to support our programs,” he said. “One of the great things about Park City is that there always seems to be an idle capacity for people to step up and give.”

Another way to support the NAC’s equestrian program is to sponsor a horse and a rider

“Our riding program serves such a diverse population,” said Glasser. “We have people with autism, we have people who learn to walk after a traumatic injury. And having horses is critical to how transformative the program can be. “

The NAC’s riding program offers three different activities – adaptive riding; horse assisted learning; and Hippotherapy, an occupational and speech therapy program.

“I have a nephew who was born with hydrocephalus, which is water in the brain, and we use physical therapy to help him learn to walk,” said Glasser. “Walking with the horse helped him a lot to build up his core strength and to find out the pace and the gait process.”

The equestrian programs, which have been part of the National Ability Center’s curriculum for more than 30 years, help participants build trust by building a trusting relationship with a horse, Glasser said.

“Seeing someone interact with an animal this size is priceless,” he said. “My son has autism and sometimes it is difficult for him to get in touch with people of the same age. But animals like horses help him maneuver himself through challenging social dynamics, and that’s an important affirmation for him. “

Glasser believes the community’s NAC lover is why the Barn Party tickets were sold out.

“I think people enjoy what we do in the NAC because our mission is important to our community,” he said. “I also think that after last year we all want to get back together, and this is the first big event that the community is putting off the Zoom calls.”

However, Glasser said the National Ability Center will continue to take a conservative approach when it comes to compliance with COVD-19 protocols.

“It feels like we’re on our way out of the pandemic, but we’re not done yet,” he said. “We must be careful wearing masks and other things of this kind because we serve vulnerable populations. But selling the Barn Party feels like the first big step to get back to normal. “

Since 1985, the National Ability Center has offered adaptive leisure programs for families and individuals of all abilities from all 50 states and more than 30 countries around the world, Glasser said.

The nonprofit’s largest participants include military veterans and children and adults on the autism spectrum, he said.

According to Glasser, more than 50% of the National Ability Center’s programs benefit children and young adults ages 21 and younger.

“The power to witness the effects of our programs, like the equestrian program, on a person just fills your bucket,” he said. “This makes it worth every minute of working all those long nights and facing a number of logistical challenges.”

About Gloria Skelton

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