A Letter from Karen

staff ksanchez

November 16, 2018

Dear Friends,

Twenty five years ago Joel and I answered a 3 line ad in the newspaper for a 2 bedroom house and 40 acres for sale in a sleepy, little town named Centerburg. It was 1993, we purchased the farm in March, welcomed our first bundle of joy in July, and incorporated The Shane Center in September while each working full time jobs . . . Over the years, we transformed cropland into pasture, a neglected barn into a humble stable, and by the grace of God, managed to develop a thriving equine facility dedicated to people with special needs

I look back now and ask myself, “What was I thinking?” LOL It would have been such an easier road if I had become a classroom teacher and then teach a few riding lessons during the summer months . . . I would have had a steady income, a 401k, sick days, and time off to pursue my personal riding goals BUT God placed something else in my heart. I wanted to make a difference in the lives of other people and to love those who were marginalized and hidden away by society. For whatever reason, He also placed an intense love of His beautiful creatures we call horses. I ignored those who told me I was crazy for trying to combine those two seemingly unrelated things which made my heart sing. Not only did I ignore them, I considered it “challenge accepted”!

I quickly learned that I couldn’t do this alone. I needed an entire community of people as passionate and “crazy” as I was. Along the way I learned what worked and what didn’t work. I stumbled and fumbled, and several times had thoughts of just giving up and moving on to a more normal lifestyle with a normal job. Fortunately, God placed people in my path who were there at just the right time to help me walk this journey and keep trusting in His plan, not only for my life but for those whose lives this center touches.

Even at the age of 51, I have a never-ending quest to get my best even better; I have this insane desire to see The Shane Center continue on to the next generation. This small and modest equestrian center with a humble mission of improving the quality of life for people with disabilities has been my life’s work and I need YOU to help me. YOU can make a lasting impact on the success of the participants and volunteers who walk through our gate each week. YOU can be part of this story.


I know your daily “to do” list is like mine: endless. I know it seems impossible to add anything else, but what if it was an easy one? Make an impact, a real difference in the life of another person who often is labeled, pressured to “become a productive member of society”, and whose lives are full of endless mountains to climb. I have chosen to serve those with “special needs” because we are all God’s children. We are all made in His image and likeness. ALL LIVES are valuable and ALL people deserve to be loved and cared about and given a chance to enjoy life.

Make an impact by making a donation in honor of our 25th year. We need your help! In addition to funding our annual needs, it is critical that The Shane Center grow its small investment fund so that future generations may enjoy the same opportunities participants over the past 25 years have delighted in. I am asking you to reflect on what the center has accomplished, and what it has meant to you or your loved ones. I am asking you to dig deep and make us your chosen charity this year.

Here are some ideas:

  • Donate $25 towards the annual fund and $250 towards the long term fund.
  • Donate $250 towards the annual fund and $250 towards the long term fund.
  • Donate $2500 towards the annual fund and $2500 towards the long term fund.
  • Donate $25 a month for the next $25 months . . . GET CREATIVE! Don’t have $250? Get 5 friends/family members and donate $50 each! Have your friends and family donate in your honor as a Christmas gift this year!

Our goal is to raise $18,000 in funds to round out 2018 and $10,000 to go towards our long term investment fund. If each rider family, each volunteer family, and each of my friends/family on Facebook raised or donated $250 we would easily exceed our goal! Anything over the goal would go directly to the investment fund.

Thank you in advance for your generosity, your prayers, and for believing in our mission to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through innovative equestrian activities. We value your support, be it through donations or volunteer time. Please remember that no gift is too small to make a positive impact on the lives of our disabled riders. Please help us reach our goal!!


Karen M. Sanchez

Executive Director