Sunrise to host outdoor, socially distanced therapy forest celebration

PUSLINCH –   Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre is planning a socially distanced Therapy/Memorial Forest outdoor celebration to remember and honour family members, friends and front-line workers.

The event takes place Sept. 27 at 2pm.

In 2019, the first year of this fledgling forest, close to $18,000 was raised to support farm-based programming for children and adults with disabilities, through donations to name mature trees and benches in memory and honour of family and friends.

This is a win/win project that reaches out to the community in a very meaningful way.

Sunrise is adding two significant elements to this fledgling forest in 2020.

“First, sadly the beloved Guelph children’s author Jean Little died in February this year, and we want to remember her,” officials said in a press release. “Jean was a great friend to Sunrise, and over the years attended many of our events, signing her books and talking to our children, until her failing health curtailed these visits.

“This year in the forest we are naming the ‘Jean Little Reading Circle’ in her honour, to be a lasting memorial to an incredibly special woman.”

In addition, during this challenging time of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the organization plans to honour all the front line and essential workers from surrounding communities who have risked their own health to ensure others are safe and cared for.

This will take the form of the “COVID Circle” of trees, that will remain as a living tribute to these local heroes in the years to come.

Organizers ask the public to consider crowd funding, with extended family members, a neighourhood group or business, to honour the dedication of front line and essential workers during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, knowing that the tree in the forest’s COVID Circle will not only stand to raise awareness for future generations, but at the same time support programs for the most vulnerable children and adults in the community.

“So although during a pandemic may not be the perfect time to raise the same amount of funds as we did last year, it is still a time to give thanks in 2020 and to remember and honour the  many people who have had a positive impact on our lives,” officials say.

For further information, contact Lynne O’Brien at 519-837-0558 x31 or