Around Lakeside - Easter kids events at Sunshine Ranch and Lake Jennings
The Easter Bunny was pretty busy around Lakeside this past weekend. Gearing up for his big day, the big bunny started early at Lake Jennings, one of the jewels of our community. The lake and its staff hosted a number of kid-friendly events on Saturday, April 8. The Kid’s Pond was fully stocked and the youngsters were pulling out fish right and left, the excitement of each catch clear on their faces. Down the road, children searched for about 2000 Easter eggs that had been secreted near Hermit’s Cove. All the while that big white rabbit was greeting the kids and supervising the activities. Another great event from the folks at Lake Jennings.
A little later in the day, the Easter Bunny was sighted in Moreno Valley, sharing fun and excitement at the Sunshine Ranch Therapeutic Riding’s Spring Horse Show and Fundraiser.
Sunshine Ranch is a nonprofit run by Stephanie Mitchell. She provides therapeutic horse riding services to children and adults with special needs. Most of her students are kids and it is clear they adore her. The feeling is obviously mutual as lots of smiles and hugs abound.
The fundraiser is necessary to keep this wonderful program up and running.
Several hundred people attended the four-hour event. The kids played games set up especially for them and the adults checked out the 40 different items in the silent auction. Burgers and dogs were served while Stephanie and her students displayed their riding skills in the main corral.
Stephanie’s students are mentally and/or physically challenged. They often feel withdrawn and shy in their lives. Sunshine Ranch has some very special horses to connect with the students. These are the most gentle, friendly, and attentive horses you will ever encounter. The joy in the program is clearly apparent from all involved.
One of the horses was singled out for some special attention. Cleo celebrated her 25th birthday with a carrot cake (a “cake” of carrot chunks) and a heartfelt rendering of “Happy Birthday” from the attendees. Cleo is especially near and dear to Stephanie’s huge heart. She was one of the original horses in the program and has recently seen a decline in her health. But Cleo loves crowds and attention, which was evident as she perked up noticeably while in the spotlight. Best wishes to that sweet girl.
Stephanie has a dedicated group of co-workers, helpers, and volunteers of all ages. Her boyfriend Lucas has been by her side since the project got off the ground, as has her mother Dianne. Their interaction with their students and their parents is positive and loving. Such a nice atmosphere in today’s world climate.
Congrats to the Sunshine Ranch for a successful event and worthwhile program – keep up the good work! (www.SunshineRanchRiding.org or 619-204-2637)
Every Friday at the Lakeside Library, Amy Guthrie hosts “Bilingual Storytime” for kids. From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., the group reads books in both English and Spanish. Once a month, she folds a Kids Career Day into her program. This past Friday, Deputy Cagigas from the Sheriff Department’s Lakeside Substation was on hand to speak to the kids about his job. The deputy also brought his amazing talking patrol car, which the kids got to crawl through and take a close look.
Amy began Bilingual Storytime this past October and has so far highlighted a physician, a pharmacist, and even a scientist, who brought a science experiment along for the kids to enjoy.
The Lakeside Library’s Calendar of Events is online, or you can call them at (619) 443-1811 for more information. It’s for the kids and it’s all free!
Upcoming in Lakeside
Speaking of the Library, they will host “Dia de Los Ninos Dia de Los Libros” on April 28 at 3:00 p.m. Bring your children for a special bilingual storytime that will include crafts, refreshments, “Ballet Folklorico,” and a free book giveaway. This event will be held at the Lakeside Community Center right next door to the library.
Eastbound Bar and Grill will donate to the El Monte Valley Fight Against Sand Mining on Monday night, April 17. They will give 10% of their earnings between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. to the cause. So come out, have some great food and drink, and support your El Monte Valley.
Your Lakeside Sheriff Substation will be holding a community event and open house at their facility on April 19. From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., you can drop by and meet your local deputies and take a look at the substation.
Lakeside bits and pieces
The recent fundraiser at Highway 67 Café for the Lakeside Library on March 25 brought in over $1000 for our new library. The Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment Fund must be raised by the community, in part to show its support and commitment for a new county library. The restaurant gave 10% of its morning’s take. Friends of the Library also raised cash at the event from donations, raffle tickets, and T-Shirt sales, memberships and renewals.