Saturday in Portola Valley: Big Barn Bash celebrates 10 years of therapeutic animal programs


==B By Kate Daly | Special to The Almanac

In 10 years' time, nonprofit Jasper Ridge Farm has changed its name, moved from Woodside to a larger facility at Webb Ranch, and gone from annually serving 500 to more than 3,260 children and adults looking for the soothing support of animals.

To celebrate that growth, the organization is inviting folks to meet its friendly therapy animals (miniature horses, goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs) on their home turf at a Big Barn Bash on Saturday, May 11, from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

The 10th anniversary benefit dinner will also feature live music from The Bell Brothers, an auction, and clients’ testimonials.

Jasper Ridge Farm offers free programs to special-needs students and children who are ill, homeless, or victims of domestic violence. Animal visits take place at the barn at 2720 Alpine Road in Portola Valley, or at clients’ sites such as Ronald McDonald House at Stanford.

Additionally, the animals travel to interact with adults at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. The animals also show up at local schools for “de-stress” sessions during exam periods.

Another free offering is HorseHeroes, an adaptive riding program for veterans and service members coping with PTSD and/or traumatic head injuries.

Founder Wendy Mattes says, “We have been grateful for the support of our wonderful donors, and of course, we could not operate without the small army of loyal volunteers, some of whom have been volunteering regularly for 10 years!”

Individual tickets for the fundraiser are $125. Call 650-703-5199 or click here.

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