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Jul 01, 2017

Serenity Stables From Combat to Calm Hosts Veterans

By Lori Draz

On June 3, Rene Stone, founder of Serenity Stables From Combat to Calm, hosted their Second Annual Sunset Gala. The boot kickin’ evening of cocktails with a country flair featured barbecue from Texas Roadhouse, beer and wine from Harborside Café, Starbucks coffee, and desserts from Shore Homes Shirvanian Realty. Approximately 110 people line danced to music by DJ Big W of Superior Soundz Entertainment, took a chance on the silent auction, and spent a beautiful evening at the farm among the horses. The money raised will go toward equine psychotherapy sessions for veterans and their families.

Prior to that, on May 24, Serenity Stables From Combat to Calm held a Memorial Day barbecue for veterans from the East Orange and Bronx VA Hospital. The spinal cord unit came out for an afternoon of music, fun, and fellowship with the horses they love. The veterans returned on June 21 to enjoy going into the pastures with the horses for a beautiful view and lunch.

Serenity Stables From Combat to Calm began in 2015. Founder and lifelong equestrian Rene Stone wanted to provide horse-assisted activities to veterans returning from deployment with a broad spectrum of physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. She learned firsthand about the many benefits of equine therapy while recovering from her own traumatic brain injury suffered in a horse-related injury. She also suffered from PTSD from a separate incident. Her father was a disabled paraplegic veteran. She grew up in VA hospitals and promised one day to do something to help. Ms. Stone said, “These brave veterans suffer with any number of developmental and physical disabilities, mental health challenges due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, visual impairments, and traumatic brain injury, all stemming from the sacrifice they gave to this country. They live with their injuries, seen and unseen, every day and they continue to endure. The bond between the horses and humans is very powerful and it is my honor to welcome these brave veterans into our stables and our hearts. I want to send a special thank you to all the beautiful volunteers who helped make the day a true success that will be remembered by our heroes.”

Serenity Stables From Combat to Calm is a 501(c)(3) organization that runs 100% on donations to meet the increasing needs of the veteran community, and now serves as Monmouth County’s premier facility providing horse-assisted activities for the special needs of veterans. Serenity Stables is located at 660 Kings Highway in the Atlantic Highlands. If you wish to visit, please make an appointment to respect the privacy of any patient experiencing a session. To learn more or volunteer, contact Serenity Stables at (732) 245-9559 or visit www.serenitystablesfcc.org.