Two weeks ago, Israelis commemorated Yom Ha’Atzmaut or Independence Day. As we do here in the States, this celebration includes picnics, barbeques and family outings.
It was our pleasure to underwrite a very special gathering that day which joined two of our favorite animal-assisted therapy programs, INTRA (Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association), http://intra.org.il, and HAMA Israel (Humans and animals in Mutual Assistance),http://hama-israel.org.il. Avshalom Beni was able to invite many of the families who take part in his program to a party at INTRA’s campus, located on the Mediterranean beach near Netanya. Original plans called for a two hour event. Here’s what Avshalom wrote us after the party ended…
…This year we decided to do something extraordinary and have an Independence Day Celebration. Because we do not have our own Center, we are obliged to seek out other places. … INTRA opened up their own Center to us and afforded these families one of those experiences which will be cherished all of their lives.
HAMA volunteers provided the food and games and transportation, while Giora and his staff gave us an unsurpassed setting on the sea, where we could see the IDF Navy and Air Force perform right in front of us– an amazing spectacle. Giora, his son Daniel, and his helpers Tomer and Thai, personally arranged pony and wagon rides for the younger children. What was supposed to be a two hour event went on for a full eight hours of real joy and endless years of nostalgia for all of us.
We wish we could have been there!