SonRise Equestrian Foundation, a Danville-based nonprofit, raised $41,000 during its Wine and Equine Festival held Sept. 16 at Wente Vineyards in Livermore. More than 200 people attended the event, which is the organization's largest fundraiser of the year.
“This year for our fifth anniversary, we decided to change the venue to Wente Vineyards for a more formal celebration," said Executive Director Alana Koski. “We are grateful to the many children, volunteers and supporters that have been a part of SonRise and are continuing to help it grow."
The organization teams up gentle horses with children throughout the Tri-Valley who are living with emotional or physical challenges. It's found that children who take care of the horses and enjoy them through the program develop confidence and learn to be responsible.
"This will be a special evening to look back to hundreds of magical moments in which horses have forever changed the lives of children and adults in our community and to look forward to the changes to come," SonRise founder Melanie Buerke told the Express earlier this month.
Though the night of the fundraiser was windy, attendees seemed to enjoy themselves., wrote Joyce Perry. After being greeted by Blackie and Shania, two miniature horses from the SonRise Traveling Tails program, attendees enjoyed a gourmet dinner and wines from Wente. Other events included dancing to the music of Jack Pollard, a Tiffany pendant raffle, wine cellar raffle and live and silent auctions.