Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital Teams up with Pony Power Therapies to Benefit Pediatric Patients

In what has become an annual highlight of summer, Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation is connecting a new group of young patients and their families with the benefits of Pony Power Therapies.

Pony Power, a nonprofit organization in Mahwah, provides therapeutic riding and other horse-assisted activities to special needs and at-risk populations. Nestled in the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains, pediatric patients ride and groom horses and learn about farming. Participants will also enjoy Pony Power’s newly expanded campus, which increased from four to more than 13 acres.

Members of the media are invited to attend and cover an upcoming session.

When:    Tuesday, August 13

                 8:30 a.m. (session runs from 9 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.)

                   9:15-10:45 a.m. Horseback riding

Where:    1170 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah, NJ 07430

The children will start their day with yoga, participate in functional fitness and a myriad of nature-based activities, including beekeeping, studying worms to learn about composting, scavenger hunts and creating fairy gardens. Pony Power Therapies is proud to use only sustainable supplies as it aims to reduce waste. Also, the snack provided to the children is both educational and nutrition-focused.

The four-day summer sessions in August accommodate approximately 20 patients of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and their siblings. The program is funded through the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation with a portion of the proceeds from the 2019 Susan Zabransky Hughes Memorial 5K Run/Walk.

Patients and their families, team members from the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation along with the founder and executive director of Pony Power Therapies, Dana Spett, will be available for interviews.

For security purposes and planning, members of the media interested in covering this event must contact Sheri Hensley, Hackensack University Medical Center Communications and Public Relations Department, in advance to confirm attendance at 551-996-3586 (office) 201-315-9580 (cell) or Sheri.Hensley@hackensackmeridian.org.

About Pony Power Therapies

Founded in 2000, Pony Power Therapies gives special needs and at-risk children and adults a unique opportunity to ride, care for and interact with horses. Its riding and non-riding activities enhance individuals’ physical, social and emotional well-being in a safe, nurturing farm environment. Pony Power offers recreational activities that help riders gain greater flexibility, balance and muscle strength, as well as explore and develop unique relationships with the horse, which can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem, and foster feelings of independence and pride. Pony Power instructors are either certified or in training to be certified by Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. For more information, please visit www.ponypowernj.org.

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