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Organization DBA Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc.
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc. operates with a mission to enhance and enrich lives by providing education, social opportunities and emotional support through equine assisted activities and therapies. We do this while honoring our core values – integrity, compassion, healing and safety. Our family oriented program succeeds through the efforts of our dedicated volunteers, knowledgeable staff and valued equine partners. We strive to create a safe, welcoming haven where individuals can learn, grow and heal through Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Activities.

Mission Statement

Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc. operates with a mission to enhance and enrich lives by providing education, social opportunities and emotional support through equine assisted activities and therapies. We do this while honoring our core values – integrity, compassion, healing and safety. Our family oriented program succeeds through the efforts of our dedicated volunteers, knowledgeable staff and valued equine partners. We strive to create a safe, welcoming haven where individuals can learn, grow and heal through Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Activities.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017
Projected Income $416,000.00
Projected Expense $429,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Autism Rides
  • Capital Campaign
  • Change of Lead
  • Freedom Riders

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc. operates with a mission to enhance and enrich lives by providing education, social opportunities and emotional support through equine assisted activities and therapies. We do this while honoring our core values – integrity, compassion, healing and safety. Our family oriented program succeeds through the efforts of our dedicated volunteers, knowledgeable staff and valued equine partners. We strive to create a safe, welcoming haven where individuals can learn, grow and heal through Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Activities.


Background Statement

In 1997, a group of local citizens organized to offer a series of small equestrian events for patients of Tewksbury Hospital with limited mobility. The success of these events led to the establishment of a a permanent, agriculturally based, therapeutic equestrian center to serve adults and children with special needs, at-risk and underserved youth and others who could benefit from Equine Therapy.

In 2001, Strongwater Farm was granted a 99 year lease to operate an independent Equine Therapy center on the grounds of Tewksbury Hospital and in 2004 the Massachusetts state legislature officially designated over 400 acres of conservation land adjacent to Strongwater Farm for passive recreation including the evidence-based therapeutic equestrian programs provided by Strongwater Farm.

Strongwater Farm holds full Premier Center Accreditation of its therapeutic programs from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH Intl.) with evidence-based therapeutic programs that meet or exceed the PATH standards. Strongwater provides both individual and group therapy services by PATH certified instructors. Many of our instructors hold additional certifications in physical therapy, expressive arts therapy, special education and mental health.

Strongwater Farm partners with a variety of organizations across the region including special education collaboratives, school districts, group homes and programs for special needs adults, the Veterans Administration (VA) and VA supportive housing, and nearby substance use recovery programs. Strongwater partners with special educators, families, caregivers, physical, occupational and recreational therapists, mental health professionals and medical professionals to provide therapeutic programs and services. 


Impact Statement

Equine therapy is used to help people with a variety of disabilities. The relationship between the humans and horses has proven to be effective in creating an emotional, healing bond. Riding is used by physical and occupational therapists due to the motor, emotional, and sensory experiences that come with riding a horse. Strongwater Farm offers both one-on-one therapy sessions and a growing number of group programs.  

Children & Adults with Special Needs: Individuals of all ages with special needs participate in Strongwater Farm’s equine therapy programs. Strongwater provides services for many needs including ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, Down syndrome, hearing and vision impairments, learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, paralysis, orthopedic problems, speech impairment, spinal cord injury and other physical disability.

Individuals with Behavioral Health Issues: At Strongwater Farm, individuals with behavior health issues include individuals living with depression, anxiety, event-related stress/trauma, abuse, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD and traumatic brain injury. Equine therapy is known to help improve self-esteem and motivation.

Veterans: Strongwater Farm serves veterans of all ages including Vietnam-era, Iraq, the Gulf War, Afghanistan and other conflicts, who seek equine therapy services to help them recover from a range of issues including PTSD, trauma, substance use, episodic homelessness and more. Strongwater Farm has a partnership with the Edith Nourse Rogers VA Hospital in Bedford and VA supportive housing for formerly homeless veterans.

Individuals with Substance Use Disorders: Strongwater Farm is located near a number of substance use treatment programs for alcohol, opioids and other drugs. Strongwater Farm has increased its program opportunities for these clients. Research and clinical trials in addiction therapy have shown equine therapy can reduce depression, anxiety and aggression and improve self-esteem and adherence to treatment.


Needs Statement

Strongwater Farm’s current programs use the paddocks, woods and pastures near our barn on the grounds of Tewksbury Hospital. While the tranquil, rural setting is an important part of our program, we have for many years had interrupted services for our clients because of the seasons and the weather.

Winter weather in New England makes riding outdoors between late November and early April unpredictable. Freezing rain, snow, frozen ground or cold winds are all difficult to endure for anyone, let alone a person with a serious medical condition or other special need. Scheduling for the weather breaks up the consistency of our programs and interrupts the progress our clients are making toward their therapeutic goals. For many the interruptions cause more than disruption as a break in routine can cause stress and agitation.

The new indoor center will resolve these problems providing predictability and consistency in therapeutic sessions; allow more varied program activities; increase frequency of therapy for clients; provide classroom space for unmounted sessions; provide a weatherproof area for horse grooming, cleaning and storage; provide a classroom space and area to train volunteers; and provide a mounting ramp and lift to aid those with physical disabilities.

Our five most pressing needs are:
Indoor riding arena
Shed stable
Mounting ramp for wheelchair users
Funds to support the veterans programs which are offered free of charge
Funds for composting system and fencing replacement

CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

For over a decade, Strongwater Farm has improved the quality of life and health of thousands of children and adults with special needs in the greater Boston area by providing professionally supervised, equine-assisted activities and therapies. Over the past several years, we have expanded our services to include veterans with PTSD and individuals with behavioral health issues and/or substance abuse disorders.

Despite our successes, our current programing has been limited in time, breadth and number of participants because of a lack of an indoor riding arena and related facilities.

To position itself for the future and to meet the needs of our participants, Strongwater Farm is embarking on a Capital Campaign to raise $1.3 Million for the construction of an Indoor Equestrian Center next to its existing facilities. The demand for our therapeutic riding program has never been greater and yet Strongwater is currently operating at capacity in its current facilities.

The proposed facilities will improve the quality of experience and therapeutic outcomes for our current participants by allowing continued progress, year-round, regardless of the weather. Equally exciting, the multi-purpose and therapy rooms will provide the much needed meeting and function space for volunteer events, orientations and trainings and the opportunity to add new services, including physical, occupational and/or speech therapy.

The proposed improvements will provide a strong foundation upon which to grow the size and scope of the Strongwater community; a community that offers those with special needs a place where they belong, an opportunity to interact with others, and the inspiration to pursue goals they’d previously thought unobtainable.

Strongwater’s Capital Campaign builds upon its legacy of success and its commitment to children and adults who live with special needs.

I invite you to learn more about this capital campaign, our participants, and programs and to consider joining us by making a donation. In doing so, you will help strengthen and expand a community that allows all participants to build the skills and self-esteem that result from the healing power of horses.



Geographic Area Served

NORTHEAST REGION, MA
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA

Merrimack Valley, Northeastern Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire

 

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers
  2. Recreation & Sports - Equestrian
  3. Mental Health & Crisis Intervention - Substance Abuse Treatment

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Autism Rides

Program for children, youth and adults on the autism spectrum.
Budget  $40,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities K-12 (5-19 years) College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Participants become more attentive and willing to follow instructions, become more verbal and vocalize commands on the horse as well as take initiative. 
Program Long-Term Success  Continue to provide therapy services, particularly to young adults who have aged out of many programs for disabled children/youth.
Program Success Monitored By  Each participant has individuals goals sessions are monitored and progress recorded. Goals are established with therapists and family.
Examples of Program Success   

There are multiple visual aids placed throughout the riding arena so that individuals know what to do and where to go. Everything is also done on a set schedule. These markers and schedules help our riders on the spectrum succeed in completing specific tasks as well as build confidence to expand their skills with more challenging tasks over time.


Capital Campaign

 Indoor Riding Arena construction
Budget  $1,300,000.00
Category  Recreation & Sports, General/Other Equestrian
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities At-Risk Populations Veterans
Program Short-Term Success  Keeping the campaign on track for its various milestones.
Program Long-Term Success  Completing the arena on time and on budget
Program Success Monitored By  successfully raising funds needed
Examples of Program Success  By September of 2019 we are embarking on a winter season indoors.

Change of Lead

Change of Lead helps those with substance use disorders improve treatment outcomes and helps prevent treatment drop out.
Budget  $30,000.00
Category  Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
Population Served Alcohol, Drug, Substance Abusers Alcohol, Drug, Substance Abusers People/Families with of People with Psychological Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success   

Research and clinical trials in addiction therapy have guided our goals for Change of Lead which include:

  • Reduction in depression, anxiety and aggression

  • Improved self-esteem and motivation

  • Lower treatment dropout and addiction relapse

Program Long-Term Success  Change of Lead works with individuals in inpatient programs at nearby treatment centers. It is aimed at dealing with substance use, depression, anxiety and aggression.
Program Success Monitored By   We track attendance and adherence and correlate that with improvements in self- esteem, depression, anxiety and motivation.
Examples of Program Success   

Relapsing is largely due to loneliness and isolation and having too much free time on one's hands. So residents continue to volunteer and connect with staff and other participants following the program.

Change of Lead participants become sidewalkers and leaders and assist with barn chores, events and preparing home-cooked meals for the Veterans groups. 

Freedom Riders

Program for veterans through the Edith Nourse Rogers VA hospital and VA supportive housing in Beverly and Bedford.
Budget  $45,000.00
Category  Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Animal-Assisted Therapy
Population Served Veterans People/Families with of People with Psychological Disabilities Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  Veterans in our programs make progress on their mental health and functioning goals at each session.
Program Long-Term Success  Veterans in our programs have improved functioning and decreased symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety.
Program Success Monitored By  Goals and  outcomes are tracked on a weekly basis through progress monitoring. We coordinate this with recreational therapist and VA program staff.
Examples of Program Success  Veterans in our programs remain in stable housing.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Patti Lessard
CEO Term Start Apr 2014
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience --
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) - Accreditation --

Collaborations

Edith Nourse Rogers VA Hospital; VA supportive housing; Lowell House; JRI; Glenice Sheehan program; Meghan's House; CLASS/ARC of Greater Lawrence; Lawrence Boys & Girls Club; Tewksbury Hospital

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 11
Number of Volunteers 300
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 12
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. David Wahr
Board Chair Company Affiliation retired
Board Chair Term Jan 2015 - Dec 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
James Carter Demoulas Supermarkets Voting
Charles Gaffney Salem Five Voting
Martha Gaffney Oracle Voting
Nancy Hurwitz Retired Voting
Diana Lane New EnglandDressage Association --
Mary Jane Marcucci Creative Beginnings Voting
Mary-Alice Miller Mosaic Business Strategies Voting
Janice O'Neill retired Voting
Richard O'Neill Esq. O'Neill & Gramer Voting
Carolyn A. Pelletier Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union Voting
Chris Perley ImmuneXcite Voting
Jessica Wadden Newton Public Schools Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 8
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017
Projected Income $416,000.00
Projected Expense $429,000.00
Form 990s

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

Audit Documents

2015 audit

2014 audit

2013 audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $375,294 $378,320 $331,319
Total Expenses $407,498 $415,544 $363,599

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $91,914 $132,019 $73,378
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $110,459 $97,520 $99,062
Investment Income, Net of Losses $13 $8 $4
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $78,408 $70,273 $77,105
Revenue In-Kind $94,500 $78,500 $81,770
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $288,363 $282,834 $249,165
Administration Expense $85,088 $91,028 $61,328
Fundraising Expense $34,047 $41,682 $53,106
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.92 0.91 0.91
Program Expense/Total Expenses 71% 68% 69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 20% 21% 35%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $1,015,419 $1,049,929 $1,083,305
Current Assets $66,612 $77,760 $85,962
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $13,143 $15,449 $11,601
Total Net Assets $1,002,276 $1,034,480 $1,071,704

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose Indoor Riding Arena
Campaign Goal $1,300,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Jan 2017 - Sept 2018
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $200,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 5.07 5.03 7.41

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's audited financials. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

 Strongwater Farm is launching a capital campaign to build an indoor equestrian center – a center which will greatly benefit the many clients we serve. This new indoor center will enable us to meet the ever-increasing needs of our clients for therapeutic services with year-round capabilities, predictability and consistency of services.  

At the same time we are building the capacity of our organization. An indoor arena will expand our operations and we will need to add management staff and also grow our fundraising operations to meet the increased capacity and costs of our center.
 


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We are embarking on a capital campaign and have already secured $200,000 in leadership gifts. We have drawings and plans and preliminary site drawings and specifications are underway this spring.

We have engaged a capital campaign consultant and have also started, with the help of a direct response specialist, to put together regular individual giving programs. Our grants consultant who has worked with us on general operating fundraising for several years will now also be adding grants for capital as well.

We are engaging with ESC this spring to bring in some expertise to help us develop a plan for growing the management structure of our organization. 

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Our organization is lead by a group of dedicated volunteer board members who have extensive management and business experience. Along with our consultant assistance, we are creating the plans we need to expand our capacity while also building our indoor arena to serve more clients, more consistently.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We will have achieved progress when our arena is complete and we have the plans and capacity in place to manage and operate it efficiently.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

We have created a case statement, developed lists of potential donors  and designated a capital campaign committee. That committee is recruiting advisors and volunteers for the campaign and is starting to make connections and book meetings to talk about the capital campaign.

We have yet to start to develop a plan for organizational structure to support the new arena. We will begin that work with ESC this spring.