Jerrara Riding for the Disabled receives a generous gift

RDA volunteers Ariel (left) and Milly with Akira, 7, on Chloe.
RDA volunteers Ariel (left) and Milly with Akira, 7, on Chloe.

Horses at Jerrara Riding for the Disabled Association will be living high on the hog this summer, after a generous donation to keep them in hay.

The Freemasons of Kiama raised $12000 to help the group buy essential feed for their 11 specially-trained horses, who each eat at least a bale of hay a week.

RDA coach Mrs Jacqui Clarke said the gift was one the largest single donations ever received by the centre and as well as feed would go towards looking after the health of the horses, many which are older, and replacing equipment.

"It will help us continue to provide horse riding activities to enrich the lives of local children and adults with disabilities," she said.

"We are a completely volunteer organisation and without the amazing work of our volunteers and support from local community groups, businesses and families and friends we could not offer these programs."

The donation was officially presented at a ceremony in front of more than 50 people.

The Freemasons of Kiama raised the money through activities including Bunnings sausage sizzles and the Grand Lodge Masonicare matched every $3000 raised dollar for dollar.

Worshipful brother Mr Bill Gillespie said the group had raised more than $40,000 for local community groups in the past five years. They chose to support RDA this year after he met a group of volunteers at an Australia Day event.

"The Masons are heavily involved in charity state-wide and worldwide," he said.

"We wanted to raise money for a charity where everything we raised stayed in the local community."

The RDA centre at Jerrara runs weekly horse riding activities for 21 riders, and has operated for 30 years. Classes run on Tuesday and Saturday and new volunteers are always welcome.

The Freemasons of Kiama were established almost 150 years ago and have more than 60 members. They meet on the second Thursday of every month.