Musicians are rallying to raise money for Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, a nine-year-old Littleton group that saves horses from slaughter and provides equine therapy for at-risk youth.
Rock the Ranch began after board member Rick McGregor offered to play music at a Zuma fundraiser. Inspired by the success of having a live performance at the event, Executive Director Jodi Messenich launched the first concert in 2015. The series aims to use the outdoor setting of the ranch to raise money and awareness for Zuma and its programs, bringing people together to enjoy beer, horses, hayrides, charity and songs.
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After that first edition of Rock the Ranch was a success, Messenich connected with her friend Stephanie Doebler, who had connections in the music world, and the duo decided to create a bigger event. They didn’t just want successful fundraisers; they wanted, as they put it, “fun-raisers.”
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With a focus on advocacy and the support of local bands, including Morning Bear and Wildflowers on July 8, Aaron Kantor on August 12, and Shilo Gold in September 9, Messenich is certain the 2017 series will not only raise the $30,000 needed to help feed and house the horses but will also bring awareness to the children and veterans suffering daily from emotional challenges.
“At Zuma’s, we don’t feel that emotional challenges need to be given a label,” Messenich says. “We feel that through the acceptance of differences, adjusting of the teaching methods, along with pairing kids with horses, we are assisting individuals in overcoming emotional trauma and lessening the symptoms they express.”
Rock the Ranch, 6-10 p.m., second Saturdays from July to October, at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, 7745 North Moore Road, Littleton, $10, 303-346-7493.