Storm hits horse therapy program with a double whammy

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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - A horseback riding charity in Neenah had a rough weekend due to the recent snowstorm.

"Right now our doors are closed until further notice," Beaming program director Katie Samuelson said.

Beaming Inc. is a nonprofit group that gives therapeutic horse rides to children, war veterans and people with disabilities. The group tells Action 2 News that the blizzard forced the cancellation of a major fundraising banquet on Saturday. The event has been rescheduled for next month.

Then, on Sunday, the roof of Beaming's riding arena collapsed because of the heavy snow load.

Beaming says it will have to suspend rides until it can make repairs -- losing another major, ongoing source of funding.

In the meantime, it still has to maintain and care for its horses.

"Beaming will incur expenses because of lack of programming and because we need to have a temporary wall to be built," Samuelson said.

Maxwell Melzer is a veteran with post-traumatic stress. He cherishes his time spent with horses.

"I get to come out here every day and feed the horses, and it makes me feel like I'm important to someone or something," he told us."

Beaming is already seeing the community rally to help, starting with Grace Valley Builders sending a team to clear the snow at no cost.

"Everybody don't need money for things and for something good like this especially for the veterans and the kids," Grace Valley's Steven Obydine said.

KK Horse Quarters owns the facility. Its insurance will cover the roof being repaired.

But Beaming is looking for more community help until it can open its doors.

"What's so hard for me is that we really want to provide services for the community, and to have this happen to these kids, these vets, it's just crushing," Samuelson said.

A link for making an online donation can be found at

The fundraising dinner "A Night at the Races" starts at 5 p.m. May 19 at Oshkosh Hilton Garden Inn, 1355 W. 20th Avenue. Tickets can be purchased on EventBrite.

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