Tag Archives: Naples Equestrian Challenge

Coast Causes

Gathering Riley up from school Monday for OT earlier this week, the woman at the front desk handed me a page from newspaper.  She had spotted Riley in The News-Press of Fort Myers, April 18th, 2016 Causes: Toast of the Coast page 3D.

I just love the little gestures!

Lend Your Voice To Naples Equestrian Challenge Riders

Naples Equestrian Challenge (NEC) has an extraordinary opportunity to expand its equine-assisted activities and therapy programs, but we need your help and support!

Our Riders Are Our Superheroes

Naples Equestrian Challenge

13th Annual Horse Show

April 6th and 7th, 2013

My Superhero is Riley!



Sponsor-A-Rider, Pony Pie Bingo & Bootstrap Boogie

How often do you get to play Pony Pie Bingo?  I reckon you haven’t; there’s nothing else quite like it for the bettin’ crowd.

Dancing tickets are still available for this Saturday evening at Naples Equestrian Challenge.

Rider Sponsorships are always available and do wonders for special needs children and adults.  Yes, sponsoring Riley is definitely an option.  He is featured on the invitation:-)  There are lots of other deserving riders as well.  The staff at NEC would love to talk to you about your options.

NEC May 2012 Spotlight: John Buck

Despite his protests, John’s own Program Committee, Naples Equestrian Challenge, selected him for the May 2012 Volunteer Spotlight. 
After dragging his feet for some weeks, he finally started to fill out the Volunteer Spotlight bio guide.
Here is the result:

Naples Equestrian Challenge Summer Camp


This camp teaches typically developing children to work and learn along-side special needs.  This is my sons’ favorite week of the summer.

NEC Summer Camp Consists of Riding, Horse Care, Groom, Tacking and Daily Arts and Craft Activity

The Charity Register 2010

Gulfshore Life Magazine was kind enough to allow me to speak with writer Denise Scott  for The Charity Register regarding our experience with Naples Equestrian Challenge.

The 2nd Annual Naples Equestrian Challenge 5k Run/Walk

The 2nd Annual Naples Equestrian Challenge5k Run/Walk is scheduled for Saturday, February 18th at 7:30am.
Ifyou have not already signed up – there is still time!!!
Race to be held in the Pine Ridge neighborhood.
Parking is at the North Naples United Methodist Church.
We encourage online registration at www.gcrunner.org.

Riley’s Week


Cheating the Stander
Dr. Steve’s regular Monday with Riley… welcome Dr. Eric too.
Another day hanging out in a doctor’s office for Ronan.  Thank goodness for the DS!
Riley sings to Miss Claudia.   She was in Romania far too long and he’s very excited to have her back.
Waiting again… hey, get your own DS.
Naples Equestrian Challenge article today on

Magic of changing lives: Naples wine festival, pros team up to teach kids tricks

It’s been a pretty good week… Stacie Wiesenbaugh

My Honor: NECs December Volunteer Spotlight

Naples Equestrian Challenge kindly “spotlighted” me as December’s Volunteer.  I am very honored and share the form I turned in for the Spotlight Bulletin Board in the hospitality shed.  

Stacie Wiesenbaugh
Movedto Naples from: LosAngeles, CA                   Year movedto Naples: 2004
Whydid you move to Naples?:
Ourfirst child, Riley, experience a massive brain hemorrhage in utero.  His traumaticbirth caused us to make many changes to our lifestyle which included moving tobe closer to family.  We decided uponSWFL where my mother spends the majority of her time.
Presentand/or past occupation, company name, job title & responsibilities: 
Afterthe birth of my son, nearly 10 years ago, I gave up my paid occupation todevote time to him and ultimately educating and promoting causes of specialneeds. I LOVE NEC but also devote my time (when not caring for Riley) as anArbonne Independent Consultant, the boys schools, and a personal blog on thejourney of special needs parents. Between caring for Riley and that, my “time clock” is full.
College/University& Degree(s) held including subject area:
GettysburgCollege, English Lit. B.A.
BrooksInstitute of Photography, Media, B.A.
SpecialNeeds Kids, I have my S.N.K. degree (graduated on 8.28.2002 (birth of son)) andstill pursuing.
Family(name of spouse, # children/grandchildren/pets):
Spouse:John Buck (when I claim him) John sits on the Program Committee and is the facebehind the camera at NEC events.
Children:Riley (9) & Ronan (7 this month)
ScubaDiving & Photography
Ibecame a Naples Equestrian Challenge volunteer (month/year):
Ithink that if you have a child with Special Needs, you need to be there forhim/her.  When Riley turned 3 fall of2005, we joined NEC.  I wanted to bethere for him and give my time to a cause that I truly believe in. 
Ibecame a volunteer at NEC because it was the agreement parents and caregiversmade as part of the rider contract.  Myother Volunteer activity is volunteering my husband for things!  NEC is a “family orientedthing.”  I am one of Riley’s regularside-walkers, but not necessarily his favorite. This year I took on another volunteer area as fundraiser.  Chico’s, offered an opportunity for ashopping day in The Company Store, a sample sale warehouse, and the proceedswere returned to NEC.  The event tookplace in September and I hope to make it a yearly event with even greaterattendance in the future.
Someof my most memorable NEC moments are…
Growingwith NEC.  I started when the arena hadno roof (those were some hot days, but fun for the kids).  Watching the Volunteers grow (we have photosof young boys and girls who have stayed with the program so long they turnedinto kids with braces into amazing adults).
Iwill always remember our first visit to NEC. At that time, Riley was challenged by motion and car rides wereparticularly miserable.  He had cried onthe drive and I was regretting taking him out at all.  It was a hot quiet summer day and the placeappeared deserted.  I pulled Riley fromhis car seat and as I brought him into the sun a strong breeze struck uscarrying the scent of hay and horses. Riley’s mood immediately turned joyous. He liked it all and we had barely taken a step.  It smelled right to him.  It felt right.  I knew we would be staying.
Asthe years have gone by, NEC has remained a constant in our life.  As a special needs family, we don’t goanywhere unnecessarily.  As a child andfamily with multiple disabilities sets us apart.  Naples Equestrian Challenge is one placewhere we are always welcome and understood. It is also unique in that this is the one therapy we do not need tojustify and can simply be something Riley can participate in and enjoy.
MYother comment:
BeingVolunteer of the Month is not expected.  Particularlybecause there are SO many people “behind” this organization who arenot out in the arena with the horses/kids who are so deserving…   Being a part of NEC is not about being atNEC when the kids ride.  It is about thefamilies sharing education/being there for each other; the staff who do thisnot for the money, but the love of what they do; the people who because ofphysical or other challenges cannot side walk, but give their time in countlessother ways.  The amazing sponsors wholiterally built a roof over my son’s head when he walks and hung fans to coolhim.  There are so many facets to NECthat we can all partake in.  I am Blessedto be a part of such an organization.
Otherorganizations & positions held:
Currently,I am an Arbonne Independent Consultant for health and wellness products, ablogger and I also volunteer with Freedom Waters Foundation, Rayma C. PageElementary (Riley’s school) and Bonita Springs Preparatory and Fitness Academy(Riley’s School).
Someof my previous volunteer positions:
Wildlife Waystation,Level II volunteer
Volunteer, The JuniorLeague of Los Angeles, Marketing Committee
Coastal Clean-Up DayBeach Captain for Will Rogers Beach & Steering Committee City of         Santa Monica
CaliforniaCoastal Commission recognition 1993 1994, 1995, 1997
tripledturn-out to 500 in my first year as captain, collected 1139 pounds of trash,only 10 pounds shy of the winning site for most trash
Someof my previous employment positions:
US Census Bureau, 2010Census, Ennumerator
Library Foundation ofLos Angeles,                     
Lead for theCity of Los Angeles Campaign, Liaison for The Council, Library AssociatesMembership
Freeman Hospitals Foundation -Donor Service Management for Hospitals & PCRI (Prostate Cancer ResearchInstitute), Financial tracking, Grant, Events
The Nature Conservancy
Earth Share of California,Campaign Manager

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