On Friday, September 17, 2021, key supporters of West Marin’s non-profit Halleck Creek Ranch gathered at a different Marin ‘ranch’ to support the 44-year-old organization’s mission to deliver therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities to people with disabilities.
Held at the iconic Rancho Nicasio restaurant, Halleck Creek Ranch’s Buckles & Bling was a chance for guests to socialize with friends, enjoy fine food and wine and dance to live music by Buck Nickels and Loose Change. Numerous board members were present, including president Dan Steadman, along with board members Nancy Brookshire, Shannon Manzoni, Bill Manheim, David Lambert, Bob Reyff, Rick Lind, and Jim Grossi.
Halleck Creek Ranch also honored Dan Phillips, director of the Tech Resource Center of Marin, with the Silver Buckle Award for embodying its motto, “Life Without Barriers.” Phillips serves as an assistive technology specialist, supporting over 4,000 students with special needs. As a speech pathologist and an educational technology trainer specializing in augmentative and assistive communication and technology, Phillips helps schools integrate mobile technology into classrooms. “His efforts have given a voice and a means of communication to so many within our special needs community, for which we are forever grateful,” said Halleck Creek Ranch’s executive director, Molly Scannell.
An online auction held leading up to the event, and a live auction hosted by esteemed auctioneer, Vince Morrow, offered devotees one-of-a-kind items including travel and adventure, exclusive wines, merchandise and more.
Proceeds from the event supports the 60-acre ranch’s mission to promote interaction between horses and humans as a conduit for physical, emotional and mental development. They will also help fund the ranch’s emergency preparedness initiative designed to keep its animals safe in the event of fires or other disasters. Developed with the support of Fire Chief Jason Weber of the Marin County Fire Department, and Fire Chief Kent Grady of the Nicasio Volunteer Fire Department, the emergency preparedness initiative includes the purchase of an additional horse trailer for equine evacuation, an equipment trailer in the case of an evacuation, and the acquisition and installation of water storage tanks for the use of Halleck Creek Ranch and the greater Nicasio Valley community as a whole.
Buckles and Bling was sponsored by Hennessy Funds, High Tide Foundation, Marin Subaru, Bay Area Bluestone, Teresa and Mitch Nilsen, AJ and Meredith Hennessy, Dan and Kristi Steadman, Dr. Bill Barboni, Hicks Valley Ranch, Scott and Elizabeth Buse, and Rich and Susan Moore.
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Donna Berry Glass is a freelance writer in Marin County who writes mostly about family and kid-oriented topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the natural beauty of Marin, snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel while reading a good book or whipping up something delicious in her space-challenged kitchen. Donna is a supporter of the California Academy of Sciences, a world-class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much-needed services to seniors and disabled individuals.