The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Thursday, November 23, 2017 – 5:00 p.m.
Therapists and volunteers, horse whisperers and child encouragers, friends and supporters of the Manitoba Riding for the Disabled Association – welcome to Government House.
We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.
Tonight we are celebrating a milestone anniversary for Manitoba Riding for the Disabled – forty years building confidence, abilities and emotional bonds between Manitoba children and their beautiful four-legged friends.
It’s a remarkable achievement for any volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization to reach a milestone anniversary like this.
Just keeping an organization alive can be a big job, year after year after year. It takes dedicated leadership and a large, committed base of volunteers and supporters to make something like this possible.
So reaching a landmark like this is a wonderful opportunity to look back on all that has been accomplished. It’s a chance to think of the hundreds of young riders who have had some of the most meaningful moments of their lives thanks to your organization and its people.
Each life transformed is a gift that you have made possible. Each child who has felt an unspoken connection, each child who has gained new perspective on the world, each moment of encouragement from the professionals and volunteers at Manitoba Riding for the Disabled is an achievement to be proud of.
Whether you are an experienced rider or not, I think we all instinctively are drawn to horses. Who doesn’t, when they’re on a drive in the country, turn their head and smile whenever they drive by a horse pasture?
I think we all automatically feel what Shakespeare was getting at in his famous lines about riding a favourite horse:
“When I bestride him I soar, I am a hawk. He trots the air. The earth sings when he touches it.”
Your work makes children soar.
When I think of Manitobans who have dedicated themselves to making life better for others my heart soars. The earth sings when people like you step out onto it, determined to create something of lasting value, like this great organization.
Thank you for your dedication and your leadership and congratulations on forty wonderful years.