WELLINGTON, Fla. — Equestrian Aid Foundation founders, board members, staff and friends honored Stephanie Riggio Bulger with their Luminary Award for her invaluable service to the organization.
Founders Robert Dover, chef d’équipe of the U.S. Dressage team and Robert Ross hosted a private party Sunday, Feb. 4, at their home in Wellington’s Palm Beach Polo and Country Club. Dover, Ross and fellow founder R. Scot Evans paid tribute to Bulger, who grew up in New York City.
“Stephanie infused the Equestrian Aid Foundation with her energy and clear vision for our mission,” Ross said.
“Her focus is helping us navigate new paths to define our future. We are grateful for the legacy Stephanie bestowed upon us all," said Monique Keitz, Equestrian Aid Foundation board vice president.
Ross and Evans introduced Bulger to Equestrian Aid Foundation nearly a decade ago. The organization provides financial support for horse people facing catastrophic illness or injury. She served as a member of the board of directors for eight years, four years as the president of the foundation.
“I was so surprised!” Bulger said about her award. “When Robert got the mic and asked for Stephanie to come up, my initial thought was that there was a new grant recipient named Stephanie who was going to speak. I had no idea I was about to be recognized and honored.”
Bulger says that she is especially proud of several projects that she tackled during her leadership. The last major project she led was producing the recipient resource guide, a succinct handbook that details where and how injured or ill horse people can find additional help. It provides helpful links, phone numbers, an explanation of various government programs and benefits and more.
“I am so happy with how the recipient resource guide turned out,” Bulger said. “I am also thrilled with the Show You Care horse show program that we launched last year.”
Bulger said that the Equestrian Aid Foundation gave her an outlet to give back to the community.
“Horses and the people I have met have formed the most significant and meaningful relationships in my life,” Bulger said. “I don’t know where I would be if it weren’t for my horses and horse friends. Working with the Equestrian Aid Foundation was my way of saying thanks.”
With the changing times and challenges facing nonprofit organizations, Bulger says she hopes Equestrian Aid Foundation continues to look forward to help horse people in crisis.
“There is so much more work to be done and more people who need help,” she said. “We have been told time and time again that the Equestrian Aid Foundation saves lives. It is a vital part of the greater equestrian community and I know that it will continue to have an impact.”
ABOUT EQUESTRIAN AID FOUNDATION
The Equestrian Aid Foundation® is a 501(c)(3) organization that assists people from all corners of the horse world who are coping with life-changing injury or illness and financial crisis. Since its inception 21 years ago, the Foundation has granted over $2.9 million in direct financial aid to equestrians facing adversity. Our needs-based support provides assistance with basic living and rehabilitative expenses to riders, trainers, farriers, grooms, horse farm owners and other equestrians who need a helping hand to get back on their feet. Equestrian Aid Foundation is one of only .5 percent of 1.8 million GuideStar-listed nonprofit organizations to achieve Gold Status. For more information, please visit www.EquestrianAidFoundation.org
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