Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Village holds a fundraiser

Christine Garner takes a ride at Magic Beans Village. The ranch provides therapeutic riding for special needs children and adults.

Special to the Times

Christine Garner takes a ride at Magic Beans Village. The ranch provides therapeutic riding for special needs children and adults.

SAFETY HARBOR — Magic Beans Village swings open the barnyard gates for some down-home fun today from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Come ride one of the horses — Cajun, Buddy, Darwin or Roxy — around a 3-acre trail for a $5 donation.

Discover one-of-a-kind treasures at the Magic Beans Village Foundation Garage Sale.

Savor some grilled hot dogs, chips and sodas for a dollar apiece.

Admission to the event, held at the Magic Beans Village horse farm, 1550 Fourth/M. L. King St., is free.

"The money we raise will go to feed the horses," said Janice Mason, a volunteer acting executive director. "We'd like to raise at least $500."

The foundation has other goals too such as building a handicap ramp. A church has agreed to donate the labor if others donate the materials or cash for the ramp (estimated at $1,100).

Magic Beans Village, located on a 6-acre treed tract of land, is a place where children and adults with physical and mental disabilities can participate in therapeutic horseback riding programs.

It was founded in 2005 by Mason, Gena Hayes, a physical therapy assistant from Largo, Sukhmeet Kaur of St. Petersburg, Daina Graziunas of Clearwater and others. The purpose is to help those affected by autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, head trauma, speech delays, separation anxiety and other physical and mental challenges.

"The riding program helps improve their lives and self-confidence," Mason said.

Now the foundation is reaching out to the public with a haystack of new programs. And you won't need a needle to find them.

New offerings include private and group horseback riding lessons, a Monday night riding club, Mommy and Me preschool groups, and summer camps for regular riders and those with special needs.

The facility also will be available for birthday parties and family reunions.

"We are hoping these new programs will make more people aware of the Magic Beans Village and what we do," said Mason. "They will not only introduce more able-bodied children to the fun of horseback riding, but will help make Magic Beans a more inclusive place for all."

Funds raised from the new programs will help the foundation meet operating expenses of $40,000 a year, she hopes. The foundation has had insurance problems in the past, but those have been successfully resolved.

Still, it can be a struggle.

"We are a nonprofit organization with no paid staff," Mason said. "We'd like to raise enough money in the future to pay some employees and increase the amount of programs we can offer to the public."

. If you go

Magic Beans Garage Sale and Open Barnyard

When: Today, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Magic Beans Village, 1550 Fourth/M. L. King St., Safety Harbor

Cost: Admission is free; horseback rides are $5; food items are $1.

For more information: Visit www.magicbeans or call (727) 412-8522.

Village holds a fundraiser 06/11/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 11, 2010 8:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mel and Betty Sembler's Drug Free America Foundation calls for special marijuana session


    An unlikely voice has joined the drug policy activists calling on Florida lawmakers to come back in special session focused on medical marijuana: The Drug Free America Foundation, which opposes medical marijuana and whose founders spent nearly $10 million trying to kill the 2014 and 2016 constitutional amendments to …

    Mel and Betty Sembler, pictured in 2011.
  2. Gov. Rick Scott signs tax cut bill into law


    It's hardly the $618 million tax cut Gov. Rick Scott asked for four months ago.

  3. Florida joins other states in ending 'tampon tax'


    From our friends at the Associated Press:

  4. Rubio, Nelson propose expansion of federal judgeships


    WASHINGTON - Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson today proposed adding a number of federal judges to the state.

  5. Bar review: The Landing at Jannus in St. Petersburg

    Bars & Spirits

    I've spent many evenings in St. Pete's Jannus Live courtyard, enjoying one of the best open-air venues in the Tampa Bay area. It's where I saw my first concert in Florida: Toadies, on the Rubberneck tour sometime in the mid '90s.

    The drinks at the Landing at Jannus in St. Petersburg are about as cheap as you’ll find at any other regular downtown bar, a nice surprise.