Dear Friends, - Friends for Tomorrow

Dear Friends,
Is there anything more important to our human development than feeling a sense of worthiness,
accomplishment and connection? Friends For Tomorrow (FFT) students find all of that, and more.
Diane B. Lesneski Auger
Diane B. Lesneski Auger
Karen Badia
Roberta E. Berry
Nicholas G. L. Chigas, CFP
Fritz Ferbert
Lisa Freed
Leslie Goldberg
Christopher Lippert
Bud Allen, DVM
Kris T. Auger
Marie Louise Barrett
Harley Freedman
Amy Mastrobattista
J. Merriam, DVM
Byron E. Woodman, Jr.
A non-profit, 501(c)(3)
tax-exempt organization
FFT is a PATH Int’l.
(Professional Association of
Therapeutic Horsemanship)
Member Center.
Mailing Address:
PO Box 213
Lincoln, MA 01773
Whenever I walk alongside a student, in the ring or on a trail, my heart is touched by the miraculous
transformations I witness on a regular basis; I watch riders transform from being silent and sometimes
withdrawn to a state of absolute, thrilling joy! They go from having rigid, tight bodies that won’t or can’t
move, to having relaxed, fluid movement in their limbs, and huge smiles on their faces. Those triumphs of
spirit and capability ripple throughout their being, their families, and their communities.
“Joining up’’ is a natural horsemanship phrase used to describe the process of gentle communication and
trust-building with a horse that results in the horse and rider connecting from a place of trust. At FFT, the
join-up isn’t just between horse and rider, it is also about the rider connecting with his or her own inner
power. Here’s what I mean:
• I think of Evie, who suddenly was able to sit taller, and went from being silent and shy to sharing and speaking everything on her mind! We could hardly get words in edgewise.
I think of Hannah, a blind girl who can not speak, using a stop-and-go button anchored to the saddle to signal the team of her intentions. I could see and feel her experience of believing in her horse and her team, and most importantly, her sense of accomplishment whenever she found the button, and the horse responded accordingly. Seeing her smile at that recognition of power and achievement was a spiritual experience!
I think of that time on the trail with Caleb, who at first thought he couldn’t move his feet to a safe posi-
tion in the stirrups. Then, with gentle loving encouragement and the freedom needed to process and allow his body’s response, he progressed from being shut down and frozen to “OK”.
Minutes passed…we walked forward!
Moving forward. That is what we do; we help our FFT families move forward. We work with the horses
to create an empowering environment in which our participants feel safe and supported to explore new
territory. It’s amazing; although the horses take small measured steps, our students make huge leaps
forward. Attitudes shift from “I can’t…” to “I can!”
In talking with my fellow volunteers, the resonating theme from all is inspiration and gratitude for our
students, the instructors, the patient, gentle and strong horses, and the FFT staff for making these dramatic
shifts possible. And the additional benefit? At FFT, the riders, teachers, volunteers, and horses “join up” in a
way that allows us all to experience a new level of worthiness, accomplishment and connection!
On behalf of my fellow inspired and committed volunteers and myself, I am asking you to support this
wonderful, healing place. Your contribution will have a tremendous impact on the lives of every family
who joins us. Together, we can “join up” to empower young people with physical, cognitive, social and
emotional challenges to move forward, to experience the “I can.” As you consider your charitable giving
this year, I hope you, too, will say “I can”’ to this request for a generous gift to Friends For Tomorrow.
With gratitude and warmest wishes,
Kim Rice Whittemore, Volunteer
131 Weston Road
Lincoln, Massachusetts 01773
phone: 781.259.8909
fax: 781.259.8758
At FFT, children enter a world where they are
the focus; their being, their comfort, safety,
thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears, songs are the
most important thing to the adults with them
at any moment in time. I know firsthand the
enlivening, empowering effect of that focus; it
calms the breath, quiets the mind and balances
both in day-to-day life. Nothing could keep
me from the honor of being witness to that
Celebrate Our 20th Year
of Bringing Children and
Horses Together
I love the kindness of the horses as they make
adjustments for the students and their various
abilities. My time at FFT has strengthened
my belief that this bond between humans
and horses is special and that humans are the
greater beneficiaries. Spending time at FFT
makes me feel like I am making some sort of
difference in children’s lives.”
Our Volunteers
Sarah Bennett
Eve Corning
Anne DeFilippo
Fritz Ferbert
Terri Karpel
Kathy Johnson
Avery MacLean
Marjorie Smith
Lucie Nolden
Carolyn Sullivan
Carol Bailey
Hannah Ellerkamp
Christina Kallitsantsi
Lita Phillips
ML Barrett
Henry Gonzalez
Chris Brown
Jocelyn Souliere
Jeannie Watson
Kris Jaillet
Jane Jenkins
Dylan Baxter-King
Kim Rice Whittemore
Barbara Blakeney
Kate Payne
We are grateful for all our blessings…
our Friends For Tomorrow families, our home,
our horses, our donors, and our incredible volunteers.
What’s so great about the program is that
it allows students who may struggle in
school or in other activities to do something that is uniquely theirs. One of the
Let our volunteers’ words and images carry you into
best things about working with these
a day with us and inspire you to give generously so
students is that their confidence and self-
that we may offer many more to our students and
esteem increase as they are learning new
their families. Thank you for your part in continuing
physical and behavioral skills. Each of the
horses brings unique personality traits to
to “Join Up" with our riders and their mentors, our
a lesson and can teach the students how
volunteers, in partnerships that nurture mind, body
and soul.
Warmest wishes,
important it is to develop skills like listen-
One of the things that I’ve learned from volunteering at FFT is: your challenges don’t define who
you are; the way you deal with your challenges is
a far more accurate gauge of your character. That
is true for everybody, not just the riders at FFT.
Volunteering at FFT has brought that idea into
greater focus for me in my daily life.”
ing, respecting others’ space and physical
presence. I believe strongly that working
with animals is something that helps our
riders develop compassion and empathy,
and horses can be so valuable in teaching
these lessons.”
What I hadn’t anticipated when I started at FFT was the connection I would
feel to the kids. I hadn’t expected to feel
so moved by them and their families.