Something new started in Wyandotte County with a celebratory ribbon-cutting and day long festivities on June 1.
Due West Therapeutic Riding Center, 12001 Donahoo Road, celebrated its opening. Yes, I know Due West has been on Donahoo Road for many years as a riding stable. I’d been there myself several years ago looking for riding lessons.
But owner Bill Basler and Executive Director Mary Sharp have embarked on a new trail with a nonprofit therapeutic riding center for adults and children with disabilities.
This is truly a labor of love that started with a beautiful teenager by the name of Caroline who was also there for the festivities. She was Bill’s inspiration to start this new side of Due West’s business. She came with her mother and rode a horse for the first time and it opened up a new world for her. Horses can do that for people. Mary remarked she had been working towards this her entire life and it shows.
Attending the ribbon- cutting I quickly saw this was more than just an expansion of a business. Maroon “Due West” T-shirts were on half of the 60 or so attendees of the ribbon-cutting. It seemed many of the attendees were “original Dottes” related to Bill and his family or as in the case of Commissioner Mike Kane had known Bill since they were kids or their kids had gone to school together.
It was also obvious many were customers, volunteers and true believers in what Due West is doing. This is the best of small business, being supported by your family, friends and customers. I have no doubt the Due West Therapeutic Riding Center will be successful and grow.
The center will hold a benefit horse show, the Kansas Summer Classic Horse Show, at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, that will raise funds for scholarships for the center. All different breeds will be represented at the show. The admission charge will be $5.
I suggest you check out Due West at 913-244-2771 for the events, riding lessons, horse stabling or just the opportunity to meet great business people who really show how much they care about what they do. I know I’ll be back again.
Cindy Cash is the president and CEO of the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce.