With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s a great time to celebrate love and friendship. While friendships blossom all around Mane Stream, our Thursday volunteer crew takes it to a whole new level.
When sign-ups roll around this group responds within minutes to secure their most cherished volunteer day. Amy Barkman, Debi Delorenzo, Kathy Mosquera and Karen Vogt come together each Thursday and swear it’s the day when the Mane Stream magic happens. Together with instructor Kelly Champion, these women have developed a strong bond with each other that includes the Thursday riders as well. They get the job done with lots of love and laughs and wouldn’t have it any other way. While each of their stories was given to us separately they all said the same thing about how this group of people is more than just a volunteer commitment, it’s a feeling of sisterhood.
So what exactly makes volunteering on Thursdays so special to these women? Karen says, “We’ve really evolved as a team over time. It’s easy to ask for help [from each other] or make suggestions to be helpful.” Kathy notes the laughter that the group shares. “We work well as a team and laugh at ourselves and each other a lot, but mostly at Amy!” Debi echoed Kathy’s thoughts. “Laughter is one of the best things about Thursdays. We laugh a lot, and the next day we can be sore from laughing.” Amy states that in today’s stressful world, “Thursdays at Mane Stream are a happy place.”
“In addition to our friendship, we all enjoy and connect with the riders - even the riders we don’t work with. We cheer them on and give them high fives and thumbs up.” says Amy. This connection has slowly formed an unbreakable bond between the volunteers that they share with their riders. “The riders are an important part of the glue that keeps the team together.” says Debi. “We just celebrated Cliff’s birthday with decorations and gifts. Andy is an inspiration and Madison has a special place in our hearts. A special bond has formed with each rider, just more of the special magic that happens here at Mane Stream.”
The atmosphere in the barn on Thursday afternoons is fun and supportive and it shows. “The Thursday barn girls work as a team to give the riders the best outcomes for that particular lesson. Some days our riders are more successful than others, but we celebrate every effort.” says Kathy. They always work together to make sure each rider gets the best out of them. The team shares a sort of telepathic quality where they can pick up tasks where another left off without a word between them. Their intuition makes sure they are available to lend a helping hand at just the right time.
What started as a couple-hours-a-week volunteer shift for these four dedicated women has turned into strong friendships that extend beyond the Mane Stream barn. As Amy says, “We forget our worries, we live in the moment, we learn from our riders, and we see magic happen.”
Find your team! Learn how to become a Mane Stream Volunteer…Volunteer Opportunities