Kim Henry was beside herself at the response from folks who turned out for Mane Support’s Hoof to Heart party.
The annual dinner and auction was held Saturday, Aug. 20, at the facility on Davis Ford Road. Henry said she was thankful for the positive response.
“God is phenomenal. We had over 70 sponsors, both financial and through silent auction donations. The community’s support was incredible,” the executive director said. “We had 150 to 160 people there. We had to pull out extra tables. Pistol Creek Catch of the Day played, and they were great as always. It was catered by Rothchilds. There were testimonies shared, and there was an incredible outpouring of support from volunteers, staff and the community in general.”
Henry said the event raised between $6,000 to $8,000. “That is double what we raised last year,” she said.
Mane Support is a non-profit organization that uses horses as part of counseling. Henry’s vision is to move the organization toward making Mane Support a center of hope for children dealing with death or anticipating death.
“We’re moving away from adults and focusing on children, youth and teens. We really want to be an education and resource center for those experiencing death or anticipating death,” she said. “We’re working with local foundations and some out of state to really make this grief center happen.”
Henry said the state doesn’t’ have a free standing grief center not associated with a particular hospital or hospice. She would like to create such a center that is open to residents in the community and across the State of Tennessee. “That has been my vision, and God is allowing that to come into being in His time, not mine,” she said.
Henry said horses have the God-given abilities to be honest. “They have a mirror image and reflect back things and feel things the clients are wanting to say,” she said. “They become the most vital counselors. Using horses and having a non-threatening place to share grief or loss, it becomes about the clients and allowing them to understand their own coping skills.”
Groups for children , youth and teens are starting up the second week in September. “The reason for the fundraising is we do not charge specific fees,” she said. “They pay what they can, no questions asked.”
Mane Support, Inc., is located at 2919 Davis Ford Road, Maryville. For more information, call 865-233-3090 or visit: www.manesupport.org.