It’s always a good time at Rock ’n’ Bowl, and this past weekend was certainly no exception. The throwback vintage, New Orleans-style bowling alley was the scene for one of the city’s most unique fundraisers.
The annual Rock, Ride and Rescue bash linked three worthy causes for a collective fundraising effort designed to benefit the Louisiana SPCA, the Greater New Orleans Therapeutic Riding Center and the Molly the Pony Foundation.
Visionary Caye Mitchell created the concept several years ago and is still at the helm today as the event’s key organizer.
The common denominator that all three of the beneficiaries share is that animals are healing. You don’t even have to be an animal lover to understand and appreciate the value of pets in our lives.
Medical research has demonstrated that adults and children with physical or mental disabilities benefit from therapeutic programs that integrate animals within the treatment regimen.
As an animal lover himself, Rock ’n’ Bowl’s owner John Blanchard didn’t hesitate in agreeing to host Rock, Ride and Rescue again this year. Once inside the space, it’s easy to see why the venue works so well for this particular event.
Families and supporters of all ages were having a great time at one of the “coolest” spots to be on a hot July afternoon. Folks were dancing to the music of Sunpie Barnes and the Louisiana Sunspots. The bar was hopping, and great food was everywhere.
If that wasn’t enough to keep you entertained at the fundraiser, there was, of course, bowling and an amazing array of items for the massive silent auction that supported the trio of nonprofit organizations.
Proceeds from the event are targeted to support the LA/SPCA’s Offsite Adoption Heartworm Fund. Diane Angelico, who spearheads the program for the LA/SPCA, reminded me that in the past year, more than 100 dogs have been treated for heartworms and placed in forever homes because of this program.
The Greater New Orleans Therapeutic Riding Center has more than two decades of service in our community. GNOTRC administers to patients within Orleans, Jefferson, LaPlace and the River Parishes.
I witnessed the benefits of this amazing program when I danced with one of the program’s youngest participants, 2-year-old Jenna Beer. Jenna entered into the therapeutic riding program when she was only 1 year old. Just a year later, this beautiful little girl danced and interacted with all around her this past weekend.
The third component of this event is shared with a very special little pony whose name is Molly. The horse’s story is a testament to the healing power of love, and Molly is an inspiration for anyone who is working through the challenge of a physical disability.
Rock, Ride and Rescue is a unique family event that supports three worthy causes. Please take a few moments to learn more about each of these worthwhile programs by visiting their respective websites: www.laspca.org, www.gnotrc.com, and www.mollythepony.com. Congrats to the organizers, participants and supporters for another great event this year.
La Vie de Ville captures city life New Orleans style every Thursday in The New Orleans Advocate’s Crescent City news section. For coverage of your community event in Vie, please submit details in advance to RobertaGrove@hotmail.com.