Winspire is excited to announce the winner of the first Donation Give-Away of 2015! Nancy Winkelman of Warrenville, IL will be using the donated New York Getaway for two to help raise money for the organization Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities, where she works as the Program Director.

Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities (FTEA) was founded in 1996 to provide therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical, emotional, cognitive and/or social challenges. Located in a western suburb of Chicago, FTEA seeks to meet the special needs of each program participant in a recreational setting.  

The donated trip to New York City will be used as part of their live auction offerings at the next Circle of Friends Fundraising Gala on November 7, 2015. This is an annual event which FTEA has hosted for the past 8 years, with all proceeds going to support the therapeutic horseback riding program.

Costa Rica All-Inclusive

Costa Rica All-Inclusive

5-Night Stay at Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa with Airfare for 2 (1470-2)

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Our event last November was the first time FTEA has used Winspire travel packages,” says Nancy, “Our guests have not taken their trips yet, but it was exciting to be able to offer Experiences like the one to Costa Rica. This was a totally new experience for us.”

Operating almost year round, FTEA is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center and serves about 70 program participants each week. Participants are as young as three years old and range in age all the way through adulthood.

This is made possible with a small staff of PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors and a large corps of wonderful and generous volunteers who donate over 10,000 man hours each year. The eleven horses and ponies working in the program were carefully chosen for their kind and gentle disposition and all were generously donated to FTEA.

Through the years, FTEA staff and horses have received several awards. The Illinois State Veterinary Association awarded one horse, Bungee, the Service Animal of the Year Award. Another horse, Justin, was awarded the Region 7 Horse of the Year Award by PATH IntlIn 2012 a FTEA Instructor was honored by PATH Intl. as Certified Professional of the Year and Nacy herself was honored as Region 7 Certified Professional of the Year in 2014.

FTEA has a long term goal of acquiring a stable of our own and expanding our program from 4 days per week to six days per week. 

When asked about her biggest fundraising challenge, Nancy shared their difficulty expanding the guest list for their annual gala, “We have a loyal base of supporters, but would like to grow the number of attendees to 300 and beyond. Part of that challenge is trying to figure out new ways to publicize the Gala and enlarge the target audience.”

boost-attendanceWinspire Experiences Boost Attendance

Using priceless travel packages in promotional event fliers and email campaigns can increase donor engagement and get people talking about the auction before your event. Big ticket travel items can also add variety, credibility and a “Wow!” factor to smaller or first-time fundraising events.

For more tips on how you can use unique travel Experiences to increase attendance at your next event, check out these other articles from Winspire News: