Tag Archives: Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy

July/August 2017 Giving Calendar

July 7 (7-10 p.m.)
Ales for Tails
Benefitting: Nebraska Humane Society
Location: Bärchen

July 8 (8-11 a.m.)
5K Superhero Run and Post Race Party
Benefitting: CASA for Douglas County
Location: Turner Park at Midtown Crossing

July 10 (11:30 a.m.)
24th Annual Golf Classic
Benefitting: Keep Omaha Beautiful
Location: The Players Club at Deer Creek

July 13 (6:30 p.m.)
Links to a Cure Golf Gala
Benefitting: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Location: Embassy Suites La Vista

July 14 (8:30 a.m.)
Links to a Cure Golf Tournament
Benefitting: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Location: Arborlinks Golf Course

July 15 (5-11 p.m.)
Relay for Life of Greater Omaha
Benefitting: American Cancer Society
Location: Stinson Park at Aksarben Village

July 16 (noon-3 p.m.)
ULN Guild Men Who Cook
Benefitting: Urban League of Nebraska
Location: OPS Administrative Building Cafeteria

July 25 (6 p.m.)
Hope in the Heartland Gala
Benefitting: American Cancer Society
Location: Stinson Park in Aksarben Village

July 28 (6-9:30 p.m.)
Screw Cancer Fundraiser 2017
Benefitting: Cancer Alliance of Nebraska
Location: Omaha Country Club

July 29 (6:30-11 p.m.)
2017 Blue Water Bash
Benefitting: Boys Town Okoboji Camp
Location: Boys Town Okoboji Camp, Milford, Iowa

July 29 (8-10:30 a.m.)
Omaha Head for the Cure (HFTC) 5K
Benefitting: Head for the Cure Foundation
Location: Lewis & Clark Landing

July 29 (9-11 a.m.)
The Walk to End Pancreatic Cancer
Benefitting: PurpleStride Omaha
Location: Sinson Park at Aksarben Village

July 29 (1:30-10 p.m.)
Golf 4 Lungs
Benefitting: New Hope 4 Lungs
Location: Eagle Hills Golf Course

July 31 (11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.)
Help Build a House Golf Event
Benefitting: Gesu Housing
Location: Champions Run

July 31 (1-6 p.m.)
Swing 4 Kids Golf Benefit
Benefitting: Partnership 4 Kids
Location: Tiburon Golf Course

Aug. 4 (5-9 p.m.)
New American Arts Festival
Benefiting: Lutheran Family Services
Location: Benson First Friday, 60th-62nd and Maple streets

Aug. 4 (6-10 p.m.)
Dance for a Chance
Benefitting: Youth Emergency Services
Location: Omaha Design Center

Aug. 4 (6-11 p.m.)
River Bash N Brew
Benefitting: Visiting Nurses Association
Location: Lewis & Clark Landing

Aug. 5 (6-9 p.m.)
10th Annual Nebraska Walk for Epilepsy
Benefitting: Lifestyle Innovations for Epilepsy
Location: Turner Park at Midtown Crossing

Aug. 5 (8 a.m.-noon)
Spirit of Courage Golf Tournament
Benefitting: Jennie Edmundson Hospital Cancer Center
Location: Dodge Riverside Golf Club

Aug. 5 (6-10 p.m.)
Spirit of Courage Gala
Benefitting: Jennie Edmundson Hospital Cancer Center
Location: Mid-America Center

Aug. 5 (6-9 p.m.)
Jefferson House “Stand Up for Kids” Comedy Night
Benefitting: Heartland Family Service
Location: Fremont Golf Club

Aug. 6 (noon)
No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament
Benefitting: Jennie Edmundson Hospital Cancer Center
Location: Mid-America Center

Aug.10 (7 a.m.-1 p.m.)
18th Annual Release Ministries Bill Ellett Memorial Golf Classic
Benefitting: Release Ministries
Location: Iron Horse Golf Club, Ashland, Nebraska

Aug. 11 (9 a.m.-noon)
Step Out for Seniors Walk-A-Thon
Benefitting: Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging
Location: Benson Park

Aug. 12 (8:30 a.m.)
HETRA’s Little Britches Horse Show
Benefitting: Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy
Location: HETRA, Gretna, Nebraska

Aug 12 (5:30 p.m.)
11th Annual Summer Bash for Childhood Cancer
Benefitting: Metro Area Youth Foundation
Location: Embassy Suite La Vista Convention Center

Aug. 13 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Vintage Wheels at the Fort
Benefitting: Douglas County Historical Society
Location: Historic Fort Omaha

Aug 14 (11 a.m.)
QLI Golf Challenge
Benefitting: QLI Tri-Dimensional Rehab
Location: The Players Club at Deer Creek

Aug. 18 (6-10 p.m.)
Exposed: Voice
Benefitting: Project Pink’d
Location: Hilton Downtown

Aug. 19 (day-long)
Benefitting: Brush Up Nebraska
Location: Various

Aug. 19 (8 a.m.)
JDRF One Walk
Benefitting: JDRF Heartland Chapter
Location: Lewis & Clark Landing

Aug. 20 (7-11 a.m.)
Boxer 500 Run and Walk
Benefitting: Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force
Location: Werner Park

Aug. 20 (7:30 a.m., end times vary)
Corporate Cycling Challenge
Benefitting: Eastern Nebraska Trails Network
Location: Heartland of America Park
— showofficeonline.com/CorporateCyclingChalleng

Aug. 21 (2-4 p.m.)
Grow with Us Gala
Benefitting: City Sprouts
Location: Metro Community College’s Institute for the Culinary Arts

Aug. 22 (11:30 a.m.)
Annual Golf Classic
Benefitting: Methodist Hospital Foundation
Location: Tiburon Golf Club

Aug. 24 (5:30-10 p.m.)
120th Anniversary of the Summer Fete
Benefitting: Joslyn Castle Trust
Location: Joslyn Castle lawn

Aug. 25 (5:30-8:30 p.m.)
Wine & Beer Event
Benefitting: ALS in the Heartland
Location: The Shops of Legacy

Aug. 26 (5-10 p.m.)
Gala 2017
Benefitting: Papillion-La Vista Schools
Location: TBD

Aug. 26 (5:30 p.m.)
Red, White & Madonna Blue
Benefitting: Madonna School
Location: CenturyLink Center Omaha

Aug. 26 (6-9 p.m.)
Mission: Possible
Benefitting: Angels Among Us
Location: Hilton Hotel downtown

Aug. 28 (11 a.m.)
10th Annual Jesuit Academy Golf Tournament
Benefitting: Jesuit Academy Tuition Assistance Fund
Location: Indian Creek Golf Course

Aug. 28 (noon)
19th Annual Goodwill Golf Classic
Benefitting: Goodwill’s Real Employment Assisting You (READY) & Business Solutions Programs
Location: The Players Club at Deer Creek

Aug. 28 (11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.)
Golf Outing Invitational Fundraiser
Benefitting: Open Door Mission
Location: Oak Hills Country Club

Young Heroes

July 23, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

It’s good exercise. You get to help people. You get to wear cool boots. And maybe best of all: You get to hang out with horses all day.

But there’s one other advantage to volunteering at the Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy: Even teen volunteers are critical to the operation.

“At some volunteer jobs we didn’t always feel useful or needed,” says Sarah Kopsa, 18, the eldest of three teens in the Kopsa family who volunteer at HETRA. However, she says, when the three arrive at the stables, there’s always something for them to do. “We know that if we are on the schedule we better show up because they really will have a problem providing the therapy without us,” Sarah adds.

And so it is, every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. that the Kopsas participate in a variety of activities including mucking stalls, sweeping, grooming, setting up the ring for students, laying out toys, and more. “During the lesson I’m really busy resetting the rings and toys for the next student. It’s good for me to wear boots because it gets dusty in there,” Maria shares.

HETRA’s mission is to improve the quality of life—both physically and emotionally —for adults and children with disabilities using equine-assisted activities. Those with special needs go the HETRA facilities in either Valley or Omaha each week for lessons to help them improve their core strength and balance.

Arriving just after school on Wednesdays, the Kopsa children immediately set out to groom and care for the horses. As kids begin arriving for their sessions, the Kopsas are there to not only welcome them, but also to help get everyone ready to ride, working with anywhere from three to five children each session. “The horses are mild-mannered, but we still have to be at their side at all times, holding the reins and spotting the rider” Sarah says. “The activities, like throwing balls through a hoop or reaching out to take a stuffed toy off a post, may seem simple to us, but to our riders it is challenging.”

While volunteering at the facility may not be forever, it has done plenty to inspire plans for the future among all three Kopsa children. Sarah, who has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant in an assisted living facility, plans on studying nursing and credits her experiences at HETRA and in assisted living for showing her how to support and interact with others. Maria is considering teaching as a career path “so I’ll be able to better help kids with special needs.”

And James? He hopes to go into accounting and eventually, law. “HETRA is strengthening my desire to serve others in need,” he says. “I think I will always be more sensitive people who are disabled, to the parents of disabled kids and to organizations like HETRA. I don’t know how accounting and law will play into that, but it seems like there could be a good fit someday.”