the heart of a servant

From The Director's Saddle

By Brandy Crago
SSTM Executive Director
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God”. That was the theme for this year’s Horse Camp held the second week of August. 

Ten amazing kids, who live day to day with incredible challenges, enjoyed a week of riding, swimming, crafts, and so much more. Horse Camp is always a lot of fun but it also gives each participant a chance to learn about God’s deep love for them. His desire is to make himself known to us. To build a relationship with Christ gives us a foundation of security, and hope for an amazing future, regardless of our circumstances.

Camp week wrapped up with a family picnic lunch, a riding demonstration from each camper, and a “fun awards” ceremony. We were blessed with a beautiful day.

While our focus is on the kids who participate, the testimonies from the volunteers touch my heart in a way that is difficult to describe. They are cheerleaders, referees, and confidants through the week and they celebrate every victory they witness from the kids they grow to love more each day. When the week is over, we are exhausted, but look forward to Horse Camp 2020. Each volunteer has the heart of a servant and I am so grateful for each one.
Psalm 19:1 
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.”
  to Lynn Redden for allowing us to cool down at her beautiful pool each afternoon!

Exciting Happenings

Shining Stars All Around
Welcome "Barney"
Our Newest Horse!
Thank You to Chris and Dianne Shoenfelt for creating and donating our new barrel horse “Barney.” Our Shining Stars horse campers  enjoyed riding and roping off of him!
Thanks to a generous grant from
The Robert C. Hoffman
Charitable Endowment Trust,

Shining Stars was able to purchase and install
two automatic Nelson Waterers in our pastures.
Check out these awesome cards!
Only $10 and you get all these great discounts.
You can pick them up at the arena during class,
Monday-Thursday 5-7:30pm.
OR contact Maggie @ 717-321-5981

2019 Capital Campaign

Shining Stars Therapeutic Riding Program (SSTR) is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to provide a means of therapy using horses to help people with disabilities.

SSTR is celebrating its 15th year in equine therapy. We currently have over 200 participants, 207 volunteers and 16 horses.

Our programs include:
Therapeutic Riding
Cart driving for students and seniors unable to get on the back of a horse
Summer Horse Camps for foster kids and single parent families
Saturday Night Respite (care givers get a 2 hour break while we enjoy the kids)
Stars & Stripes veterans’ program……and more.
Many people are familiar with the indoor Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC) located on York Rd in Gettysburg, but are not aware that the horses cannot be housed there because of zoning regulations. Our horses live on a farm 6 miles from the TLC and are hauled to classes each day. The farm has a 13 stall barn, 4 separate fields, a run-in shed, an outdoor arena, and a house for the stable manager/director to live in plus rooms for offices. This is where we hold Summer Horse Camps, training, cart lessons, and Equine Biology classes.

The current owners are planning to retire soon and must sell the farm, giving SSTR first option to buy. The purchase of this farm will give us a permanent home for our horses and the ability to continue the additional programs mentioned for generations to come.
In order to acquire such a purchase SSTR is looking for “Legacy Givers”. Individuals willing to sow into our special needs community to assure these therapies will be available to them in the future.

 Each Legacy Giver would donate $1200.00 and will have a plaque placed in the TLC to commemorate their part in making this mission possible and to keep their legacy alive!

Please consider the importance of becoming a "Legacy Giver" to bless others!
Go to our website link for detailed information on how you can do this:                             
Volunteers Are Special
The Heart & Hands of Our Programs...

Follow Our FB Testimony Series
Our first in a series of student/family/volunteer testimonies called "Why I Love Shining Stars" appeared on FB on August 13 and it was a arousing success! In less than 24 hours 1,384 people viewed the post! AMAZING!!! But more than that...MUCH MORE AMAZING is the story accompanying the photo of Willy, Deanna, & Jasmine!! Make sure to go to our FB Page to check out Deanna's moving testimony regarding Shining Stars and her daughter, Jasmine!  Stay tuned for more heart-warming stories every week on FB from now until November, as we hope to generate inspiration and hope for all families. Our testimony series heralds an exciting fall season of major fundraising events, all of which promise a bright future for the SSTM programs for students with special needs!
Meet Patty Pinto
Be on the lookout for our newest SSTM volunteer, Patty Pinto! She's got amazing black eyelashes, a fuzzy spotted coat, a human rider and four legs that can trot ANYWHERE!!  She will be a key feature in upcoming promotion for the November 7th Giving Spree sponsored by the Adams County Community Foundation. You will see her photo soon on FaceBook!

Details on the Giving Spree can be found in this newsletter's "Coming Events" section and at

Coming Events!

September 7
for "Boots, Bolos & Boogie"!
Our 4th annual Boots, Bolos and Boogie is Shining Stars’ largest fundraiser and is an opportunity to kick up your heels for a great cause. Its a unique event held on lovely country grounds near New Oxford. An old west town is recreated with cowboys, cowgirls, campsites, stagecoach rides, bull riding, live music, awesome auction items and of course…food and fun. This year it will be held on September 7 from 5-10. Tickets will be on sale within the next 2 weeks and are $65 each. Tickets are not available at the door and must be purchased in advance. We do have special opportunities for table reservations as well as sponsoring an old west storefront for your business. Please contact Pam Collins at (717) 624-4047 for ticket information or for sponsoring a personalized storefront.
New Items Needed for Silent Auction
Planning is under way for the 2019 Annual Silent Auction to be held October 4th. We are accepting new items to be auctioned off at the event. If you are a representative for businesses such as; Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Norwex, etc. would you consider donating a gift basket for this event? Crafty people, we would also love your hand made donation. Items can be dropped off at the Shining Stars TLC arena during class times between 5:00-7:30pm Monday-Thursday.
The 1, 2, 3 of the Giving Spree...


Fall TR Classes..............Sept 11- Nov 15
Rider Registration begins July 22, 2019

Stars & Stripes Veterans Program
August 10, 24
September 14
Family Picnic September 28

Silent Auction
October 4
Adams County Community Foundation
"Giving Spree"....November 7 @ the Gettysburg Middle school

GET CLASS REGISTRATION FORMS at or call  717-398-8327     
Facebook Page
click here to see our past newsletters!


Brandy Crago, Executive Director  

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 SHINING STARS Therapeutic Learning Center/Indoor Arena is located at
 3185 York Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325

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Shining Stars Therapeutic Ministries · 3185 York Road, Gettysburg, PA, United States · Gettysburg, PA 17325 · USA

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