High Hopes Annual Appeal


Finding Hope in Hardship

For many, the mental, physical, and emotional impact of COVID-19 is vast. High Hopes has always been a place of respite, which is why we are working tirelessly to help our community feel safe during these  challenging times. We are currently developing programs to support essential workers, individuals with mental health struggles, along with programs to address issues of isolation and anxiety in our community’ s youth.

All of this is happening as High Hopes was forced to close for April and May and then operate at only 30% for the summer session. The safety of our participants, staff, and volunteers is our top priority, and  we have been balancing strict safety protocols with providing life-improving benefits to our participants. In line with state health guidelines, we are currently operating at 60% capacity. This reduction in services has resulted in significant revenue losses.

These losses are coupled with the cancellation of our June fundraising event, which brings in nearly 20%  of our operating budget and provides significant financial aid revenue, along with a scaled-back upcoming  virtual Holiday Market. These two events account for nearly $200,000 in lost operating revenue to date.  High Hopes has made every effort to reduce expenses, including putting all capital projects and non-essential services on hold.

Despite these challenges, High Hopes is committed to maintaining our critical infrastructure. We still have a herd of 24 horses and a highly qualified, professional full-time staff to care for. Our participants, like 11-year-old Ryan, are eager to come back, and we need to ensure we’re ready when it’s safe for them to do so. Ryan’s mom, Sarah, is happy to share how High Hopes has impacted their entire family:

Our oldest son, Ryan, has Apraxia, which is a motor planning speech disorder. When he began riding at  High Hopes at age 4, he was non-verbal. When Ryan said ‘Whoa’ at one of his first horse shows, it was  one of the first words his father and I ever heard him say. We are so impressed by the core strength  and gross motor skills Ryan has gained while on horseback. Even more so, we enjoy watching him learn  empathy toward the horses, which translates into stronger social skills outside the ring. Further, we love  that Ryan and his two younger sisters are all able to participate in the High Hopes summer camp together. The shared experiences have brought us closer as a family.

Your support will help ensure High Hopes has the manpower, and horsepower, needed to provide critical  services to participants like Ryan and others who have been devastated by COVID-19. We understand the strain the pandemic has placed on everyone, but now, more than almost any time in our 47-year history, we need your financial support. Please make a gift to the greatest extent you feel possible.

High Hopes has always been known for its careful stewardship and strong financial management. That strength has allowed us to weather the storm in the short term. How we face the future depends on your support today.


Kitty Stalsburg


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