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'Bryan's' Scholarship Deadline Extended; Volunteers Needed to Assist Disabled Riders

Training offered for volunteers who wish to assist disabled riders at Lord Stirling Stable.

County seeking volunteers to help disabled riders at Lord Stirling Stable:

Volunteers wishing to assist children and adults with developmental disablities who are learning the basics of horseback riding at in Basking Ridge are asked to sign up for programs to begin in April.

The Somerset County Park Commission Therapeutic Recreation Department and the stable are seeking volunteers age 18 and over to assist with the T.R.A.I.L.S (Therapeutic Recreation Adapted Instruction at Lord Stirling) program on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, beginning April 5-6. Those who are 17 will be considered if they have previous experience with horses, according to a news release from the park commission.

The T.R.A.I.L.S. program will consist of ten weekly riding lessons, with two class options each evening, from 6:15 to to 7:30 p.m. and from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m. Volunteers may choose either or both sessions. T.R.A.I.L.S. provides an opportunity for children and adults with developmental disabilities to learn horseback riding at a level adapted to their individual needs.

Volunteers will be required to attend a short training session prior to the start of classes. “The role of the volunteer can either be a ‘side walker’ providing support, balance, and reinforcement of instruction or a ‘lead walker,’” said Dina Trunzo, manager of the therapeutic recreation program. “The volunteer is an active contributor to the learning and enjoyment of the student," she said.

The lessons will take place at  at 256 S. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.

Volunteers need not have equestrian experience if they are age 18 or older. However, volunteers should have a desire to help disabled individuals enjoy a recreational activity that they otherwise would have no opportunity to experience.

"The success of the program is due in large part to the volunteers, working with trained staff, to support each of the students,” Trunzo said. Those interested in participating may call the Therapeutic Recreation Department at 908-526-5650 or NJ Relay at 711 for individuals with a hearing or speech impairment. Volunteer information is also available be visiting the county park commission website. 

Deadline extended for scholarship to recall Bryan T. Opremcak of Basking Ridge:

Bryan’s Dream Foundation will be awarding two Bryan T. Opremcak Memorial Scholarships to Ridge High School graduating seniors this year. The deadline for the scholarships, $2,500 apiece, has been extended until April 15.

Funded by a donation from Nancy and Tim Opremcak, this scholarship is in memory of their son Bryan, who passed away in 2006 as a result of a brain tumor.

According to Tim Opremcak, “Bryan would have been a member of the Class of 2011 at Ridge High School, so we chose this year to offer a scholarship in his memory. It’s designed to honor Bryan’s determination and spirit as he fought this deadly disease.”

Scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each will be awarded to one boy and one girl. Qualifications will include an emphasis on strong grades and community service, his parents said.

For an application form and additional information, visit the Bryan's Dream Foundation website. Application forms also can be obtained at the Guidance Office.

Completed applications should be returned to the Bryan T. Opremcak Memorial Scholarship, Bryan's Dream Foundation, P.O. Box 20, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. Applications must be postmarked by April 15, 2011.

Ocean Road Mama March 25, 2011 at 12:24 PM
What a beautiful way for Nancy and Tim Opremcak to honor their son, Bryan. My daughter was Bryan's classmate at The Palmer School in Bernardsville. He was an adorable child, with big brown eyes. His parents have so honorably carried on his life on Earth in immeasurable ways, helping other children with brain tumors and now two healthy seniors at Ridge, with these scholarships. They are an amazing couple! RIP Bryan.

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