Issuu on Google+

S E C T I O N 2 Community June 1, 2011 ■ Stories about people and events A LSO INSIDE C A LE N DA R 23 |R E A L E in the community. S TAT E 24 |C L AS S I F I E D S 33 <XMe 0M`Q_ CU`T <Q`_ Riley’s Place offers play therapy to special kids one hug at a time Submitted by Scott Delucchi, a board member of Riley’s Place and a senior vice president with the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, which has placed five of its shelter animals with Riley’s Place. I f animals could talk or text, Riley’s Place would outrank Justin Bieber in Facebook friends. For now, the volunteer-powered nonprofit leasing space on a Woodside property is growing one hug at a time when special kids experience its unique hoof and fur therapy. Founded in 2009, Riley’s Place is dedicated to enriching the lives of children on the San Francisco Peninsula experiencing chronic or life-threatening health problems and/or challenging family situations. Children, who’ve spent far too much of their young lives around lab coats, blood draws, and the inside of MRI machines and transitional homes, can kick-up dust in a barn where they might groom a miniature horse, ride in a pony cart, go nose-to-nose with a Nigerian Dwarf goat, or cuddle the best laptops — a bunny, hen or guinea pig. Programs offered through Riley’s Place are free. Their onsite play dates with fourlegged friends, visits to private homes for children too ill to travel, and time spent at Ronald McDonald House and Haven Family House encourage and facilitate children’s interaction with animals, allowing them to experience the joy and healing that spending time with animals can bring. Riley Church, the inspiration, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2004 and passed away two years later at age 14. Near the end, when Riley could no longer travel, friends brought a miniature horse to her San Carlos home. The look of See RILEY’S, page 23 Almanac photos by Michelle Le Top: Meeting bunnies Casper and Robin at Riley’s Place in Woodside are, from left, Violet, Landen and Devondre. Above: Riley’s Place Executive Director Wendy Mattes leads children on a tour of the site. On the cover During a visit to Riley’s Place in Woodside, Landen, left, and Devondre meet Millie, a bunny adopted from the Peninsula Humane Society. Almanac photo by Michelle Le. June 1, 2011 N The Almanac N21

The Almanac 06.01.2011 - Section 2

Related publications