Concrete-Masonry Producers raise over $6,000 to support programs for people with disabilities

    Sunrise Therapeutic Riding & Learning Centre to benefit from Bronze
    Sponsorship of CCMPA through the Mason Carter Memorial Fund

    PUSLINCH, ON, Nov. 28 /CNW/ - A horse-riding farm that helps people with
disabilities has received over $6,000.00 from the Canadian Concrete Masonry
Producers Association (CCMPA). The donation comes from fundraising efforts
through the CCMPA's Mason Carter Memorial Fund. Paul Hargest, President of
CCMPA, presented the cheque totaling $6,462.18 to the Sunrise Therapeutic
Riding & Learning Centre today.
    "The Sunrise Centre plays such a vital role in the lives of the people
who use its programs, yet it's easy for a facility like this be overshadowed
by higher-profile charities," said Hargest. "We know it's an extremely worthy
cause, and we also appreciate being able to see our contribution 'in action'
at a facility in our community."
    The Sunrise Centre provides therapeutic riding, vaulting, recreation and
animal-care programs that help children and adults with physical and
developmental challenges. The physical, psychological and social benefits of
these programs include:

    -   Development of muscle strength and flexibility
    -   Improved balance and mobility
    -   Improved learning skills and concentration
    -   Social integration
    -   A sense of achievement and independence
    -   Increased self-esteem and self-confidence

    The Sunrise Centre was chosen by CCMPA as the 2007 recipient of funds
raised through the Mason Carter Memorial Fund. CCMPA established the Fund in
2006 to honour the longstanding business and community contribution of the
late Mason Carter, a highly respected individual in the production of masonry
products from Central Ontario. Proceeds of the Fund previously have been
donated to the Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Fundraising events this year included a golf tournament and a raffle. CCMPA is
a Bronze Sponsor of the Sunrise Centre, having donated an amount greater than
    "This money is so appreciated and will be so well-used," said Ann Caine,
Executive Director of the Sunrise Centre. Caine said the Centre receives no
government funding. "Governments tend to see facilities like ours-'children
riding horses'-as a luxury, but it's about so much more than riding: It's
about interacting with animals and caring for them and the fact that they are
totally accepting-they pass no judgment on these children." She added, "I'm a
pediatric nurse by profession and I can honestly say this is one of the best
programs of its kind I've ever seen."
    Sunrise is one of about 40 such facilities in Ontario; there are about
100 across Canada. Because they're not generally publicly funded, their
operation can be touch and go. Through fundraising such as CCMPA's and through
the dedication of about 100 volunteers and seven full- and part-time staff,
Sunrise has continued to serve communities across southern and southwestern
Ontario for 25 years.
    The Centre helps children and adults with all types of special needs. It
also offers integrated programs such as summer camps that place children who
have disabilities with those who don't. Participants with special needs are
referred to the Centre by their doctors, and the Centre's policy is never to
turn away anyone deemed suitable for one of its programs.
    "We have one little girl with Angelman Syndrome," said Ann Caine. "Her
mother has to provide complete care for her. To see her get up on a horse and
ride-it's a life-changing achievement for her." Angelman Syndrome, named after
the British doctor who first diagnosed it in 1965, is a genetic disorder that
impairs intellectual and physical development.
    Caine said the money received from CCMPA will likely be used to help
cover the costs of scholarships for children who otherwise couldn't afford to
come, and sponsoring or buying horses in order to offer additional riding
lessons. Currently the Centre supports 20 horses, four miniature horses, a
donkey, two alpacas and five cats. The cost of sponsoring one horse is
$3,000.00 per year.

    About Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre

    Sunrise is a registered charity that has been providing quality therapy,
recreation and life-skills programs to children and adults with a wide range
of special needs since 1982. Located on a 105-acre farm in Puslinch, Ontario,
between Guelph and Cambridge, Sunrise offers horse riding, sport, recreation,
and farm-related activities that together help develop the full potential of
people with disabilities. The Centre also offers integrated programs for
children with or without special needs. All riding instructors are fully
certified through Equine Canada and the Canadian Therapeutic Riding
Association (CanTRA). By creating an environment of challenge, enjoyment and
achievement, Sunrise helps lead people of all ages and capabilities closer to

    About CCMPA

    The Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association, operating as Region
6 of the National Concrete Masonry Association, is the representative voice
for the Canadian concrete block manufacturing industry. The Association
supports concrete masonry producers and suppliers in numerous areas including
standards, training, technological research, government relations, and
marketing and communications. Through these areas, the Association works to
ensure the highest standards of quality, and maintain the industry's strong
market presence.

For further information:

For further information: Marina de Souza, Managing Director, Canadian
Concrete Masonry Producers Association, (416) 495-7497, 1-888-495-7497,

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Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association

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