Since opening in 2013, the Hope Center, in Perryville, Missouri, has been providing life-changing services to many families with members dealing with several different conditions. While the science of therapeutic horseback riding does not have a long history, it has emerged as a leading form of therapy for a variety of patients.
Therapeutic horseback riding has produced results that no other form of medicine or therapy has been able to provide. The beneficiaries of this unconventional but often successful therapy include victims of traumatic injuries learning to use their bodies again, children who are dealing with autism, and veterans suffering from PTSD.
“With certain patients, the challenge has been finding a way to communicate with them so that they engage. Sometimes human ways of communicating just aren’t effective in certain cases,” said Rick Schemel Sr, one of the directors of the Hope Center and a lifetime horse enthusiast, “Animals communicate with humans very differently, there is a lot more contact involved.”
Since it is a nonprofit organization, the value of The Hope Center is always above any level of expectation. The Hope Center needed to upgrade its inefficient and yellow-light-emitting HPS fixtures.
“Our lighting was really bad in here. We had to buy used fixtures when we first opened,” said Schemel.
Those original fixtures were high bays using 400W High-Pressure Sodium lamps. Such lamps produce a dingy, yellow color of light that has often been seen in street lighting. Rick contacted Kevin Amschler of Cape Electric, a local electrical distributor, to find out if he knew of any options for improving the light output and efficiency. Amschler, a horse owner himself, met with Schemel and visited the facility.
“I immediately felt a connection here,” said Amschler, “This was something that I wanted to support and not being able to find a way to upgrade the lighting was not really an option for me. I saw the value immediately.”
Cape Electric partnered with Venture Lighting out of Cleveland, Ohio and Ward and Burton, who represent Venture in Eastern and Central Missouri.
“Cape Electric and Ward & Burton have both been phenomenal partners for us,” says Charlie Duggan of Venture Lighting. “So when they asked us about the possibility of lighting upgrade as a donation, I knew it was we would want to find a way to make happen.”
Duggan then toured the facility with Amschler and Shaun McClintock of Ward & Burton to figure out what lighting would be needed.
New Lighting At Hope Center Makes Photos, Videos, and Memories Better
Just two months later, the three companies delivered brand new LED fixtures to the Hope Center. The new fixtures give the site a new look that clients and friends of clients can instantly see. The lighting allows memorable moments to be seen and captured in photos and movies.
“The lighting makes a huge difference. Not only has it lowered our energy costs, but what happens in here are special moments for these families; moments they will want to hold onto. Whether it’s taking a photo, or just committing to memory, having the right light out here really changes the way these moments are captured,” said Schemel after the new fixtures were installed.
“We’re lucky to have great partners in Cape Electric and Ward & Burton,” said Duggan following the installation.
“Together, the three of us have taken on many projects. But this has easily been the most enjoyable. “
Duggan added, “Sometimes you know you’re at a place where special things happen when you step foot on the premises. We all knew right away that this was one of those places.”
The Hope Center wants gradually expand to offer horseback riding therapy to more new clients.
“Every year we’ve grown since we’ve been open. We now have 58 different clients ranging in ages from 3-60. It’s amazing how the horses can benefit so many different age groups dealing with the same conditions,” said Schemel who added, “I’ll never get over the joy I experience when I see the looks on faces of families who are engaging with a relative at a level the previously never have.”