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FOND DU LAC

Elizabeth Cropper, 11, of Fond du Lac, has been named the honorary co-chair of Free SPIRIT Riders Inc.'s annual Ride-a-Thon.

She has been a participant of Free SPIRIT Riders for five years and has been participating in hippo-therapy at Exceptional Equestrians in Green Bay beginning in 2008 prior to her family's move to Fond du Lac.

Cropper was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy with epilepsy, anxiety, sensory processing disorder and spastic diplegia. Since she began with Free SPIRIT Riders, she has become more social, made many friends, and enjoys the freedom the horse provides for her as her legs do not provide much movement for her. She does not walk independently and riding helps her to gain strength and a feeling of independence.

Cropper attends Evans school where she receives PT, OT and speech therapies. She uses a walker and does not have a wheelchair.

The Ride-a-Thon will be Saturday, Aug. 27, at Free SPIRIT Riders facility at W3950 Highway 23. Activities will begin at 9 a.m. and include barn tours; program participants demonstrating the skills they learn in classes; garden tours with a scavenger hunt; roast pork lunch; silent auction; annual raffle; live music by K G & The Ranger; bucket raffle for children; best dressed cowboy and cowgirl contests; Healing Paws animals obedience and agility demonstrations and much more.

Awards will be given for the individual and groups who raise the most pledges. The pledge form can be found at freespiritriders.org or at the office.

The event also features a BBQ Bean Recipe contest with prizes for first, second and third place. Purses For Ponies features gently used purses for an economical price. There will be a used tack sale.

Funds from the event will stay in the local community and will be used to care for the horses and offset costs of maintaining the Free SPIRIT Riders' mission.

For more information on the event, call 920-924-9920 or email info@freespiritriders.org.

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