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May 28th, 2014

CHARTWAY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION’S WE PROMISE FOUNDATION DONATES $43,500 TO FULLY FUND EQUI-KIDS’ ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (May 26, 2014) –For the third year in a row, Chartway Federal Credit Union’s We Promise Foundation has fully funded scholarships for 40 children with disabilities, enabling them to benefit from equine-assisted therapeutic riding lessons. 

As an avid supporter of EQUI-KIDS, this generous grant from Chartway FCU’s We Promise Foundation will offer physical, mental and emotional gains for special needs participants. Weekly lesson sessions will help riders strengthen muscles, and improve their balance and coordination. Communication and socialization is also expected to be dramatically enhanced as the children have the opportunity to build ardent bonds with the horses – increasing trust and confidence for the pair with each session.

“Through the generous funding of our annual scholarship program by the We Promise Foundation, we are able to provide therapeutic riding for members of our community who would not otherwise have the opportunity to participate,” commented Jill Haag, Executive Director of EQUI-KIDS Therapeutic Riding Program. “They are dedicated partners who help us change the lives of our special needs riders. Through the support of the We Promise Foundation, we are able to make dreams come true every day here at EQUI-KIDS!”

The benefits received from EQUI-KIDS therapeutic riding lessons are immediate and evident, not only for riders but for family members, as well. For a person whose disability confines them to a wheelchair, their lesson provides them independence and the ability to walk strong and tall on the back of an EQUI-KIDS horse or pony.  For an autistic child who rarely speaks or avoids eye contact and touch, their lesson breaks boundaries as they tell their horse to “Walk On” . . . patting their horse and connecting with their instructor and volunteers.

We Promise Foundation Chairman John Blum said Chartway’s Foundation is honored to continue its tradition of serving as the sole sponsor of EQUI-KIDS’ scholarship program for children. “Our foundation and its supporters and volunteers are deeply dedicated to making a difference in our communities,” said Blum. “The joy and freedom children experience, the leadership skills they gain, and the therapeutic progress they make is remarkable. This program is unmatched, and we are humbled to help children who can benefit from it.” 

About EQUI-KIDS

Founded in 1989, EQUI-KIDS Therapeutic Riding Program is a 501c3 organization located in Virginia Beach.  We have grown to become one of the largest accredited equine riding programs in the country benefiting the special needs community.  We provide equine-assisted activities to a diverse group of riders each week and our programs offer support to individuals with disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, mental and physical disabilities, attention deficit disorder and more.  EQUI-KIDS has made a life-changing difference in the lives of hundreds of children in Hampton Roads.  For more information, visit www.equikids.org.

About Chartway FCU’s We Promise Foundation

As the charitable arm of Chartway Federal Credit Union and its divisions of HeritageWest and SouthWest Community, the We Promise Foundation is dedicated to making dreams come true for children battling degenerative, life-threatening, debilitating or chronic illnesses, or those facing tremendous hardship. Since 1999, the organization and its We Promise Foundation have raised more than $5,800,000 to bring smiles to the faces of more than 1,200 children. For more information, visit www.WePromiseFoundation.org.

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