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Lakeridge students raise money for horse sanctuary

Lakeridge Community Service Club, a PTA-organized after-school program, visited a number of rescued PMU horses at the Mercer Island Saddle Club on Oct. 4 for its latest service project. The PMU horses, which are foals rescued from potential slaughter and foreign sale, are raised by the Phoenix Rising Sanctuary near Duvall. These foals are the by-product of mares impregnated for the collection of their hormone-rich urine, which is used for Premarin, an estrogen replacement medicine. The MI Saddle Club agreed to host the horses in their stable for the charity event.

After visiting the horses and talking to volunteers from Phoenix Rising Sanctuary, the Lakeridge students returned to school to decorate 70 horse picks — used to pick dirt and rocks from the horses’ shoes — for the sanctuary. The picks will be sold at feed stores in Duvall. All proceeds will go toward the sanctuary. The children also made horse treats — a medley of apples, oats, carrots and peppermint — for the foals to eat.

Carolyn Counihan, a parent involved with the club, said the project was well received by both children and parents.

“It’s a serious topic for kids; the prospect of these horses going to meat markets. They were very pleased to see the horses,” she said, adding that some Island parents are even considering purchasing a horse from the nonprofit, which — in addition to rescuing the fouls — raises and trains the horses until they find “loving homes.”

The Lakeridge Community Service Club organizes one volunteer event per month. For more information on the Phoenix Rising Sanctuary, visit: www.phoenixrisingsanctuary.com.

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