FEBRUARY 3, 1997
Volunteer of the year Linda Carr (right) leads Murphy, previously named the horse of the year at Little Bit, and rider Morgan Trewin. At left is another Little Bit volunteer, Cynthia Karpoff.
Photo by Sue Smith.
by Deborah Stone
Redmond resident Linda Carr, a volunteer at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, has been awarded the Regional Volunteer of the Year Award by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA).
Each year, NARHA recognizes outstanding volunteers who make a lasting impact at therapeutic riding centers. NARHA is a non-profit equestrian organization founded in 1969 to promote and support therapeutic riding for individuals with disabilities. It currently has 500 member riding centers in the U.S. and Canada and serves more than 28,000 people.
Carr was selected from among more than 20,000 NARHA volunteers, and in recognition of her services, she was presented with a medallion and a pair of Ariat riding boots at the NARHA Annual Conference Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida.
"I am very honored by this award," Carr said, "but I was very surprised to get it because there are a lot of riding centers with many good people."
She has been volunteering at Little Bit for three years and usually works two full days a week, helping prepare horses, leading them, and assisting the riders during classes. She also lends a hand with fundraising and special events, as well as mending fences and cutting fallen trees.
According to Doug McCowan, lead instructor at Little Bit, Carr volunteers in all areas of the program and puts in a lot of extra time. "Linda goes beyond the usual volunteer duties and is a valuable person in our organization. She is always upbeat and energetic with a nice smile for everyone. Linda is one of those people who can work independently and who you can count on," McCowan said.
Carr is also a longtime fundraising volunteer for the Children's Hospital in Seattle, but felt the need to supplement this work with hands-on participation of a different type. She chose Little Bit because she likes horses and wanted physical work, but most importantly because she could work directly with individuals who have special needs.
"It is so rewarding to see the progress that the riders make over time. You can see that you make a difference by being there. The riders are so appreciative. It's the riders that keep me coming back," says Carr. She has even gotten her husband Rod and daughter Tracy involved on occasion, helping with outdoor labor and the organization's brochure.
This is the first time that NARHA has given an award to a volunteer from Little Bit, and the organization is thrilled. According to McCowan, Little Bit couldn't exist without its volunteers and it's great when one of them can receive such special recognition.
If you'd like more information about volunteer opportunities at Little Bit, call 882-1554.