Our Volunteer for May is Carmel O'Keefe
This month we are featuring Carmel as our volunteer of the month! Carmel currently sits on our board of directors, is the chair of our Fundraising Committee and her daughter Annabelle is in ride 3.
Carmel has actually been a western rider since she was 8 years old although she has never been able to take formal lessons. She started volunteering at Lancers as a member of our board of directors over two years ago as she had a special interest in therapeutic riding. Since then, she has kindly volunteered her time with fundraising, revising administration manuals, designing a marketing brochure, and even with BBQ’s!
When asked what she enjoys most about Lancers, Carmel explained that her “favourite part of Lancers is the unique opportunity it provides for an entire city to experience the incredible beauty and strength of horses. The location of the barn and the Lancers' history are untapped Halifax treasures”. While it was easy for Carmel to share what she loves about Lancers, she found it harder to choose her favourite horse. “I have had crushes on so many over the years - Cash, Willow, Zero,” Carmel explained, “but my heart is taken with Bella, and not just because she shares her name with my daughter”. In a similar vein, Carmel’s favourite memory of Lancers was when she saw the riders in their red jackets during a Musical Ride practice for the first time. “It was truly inspirational”, she added.
For Carmel, volunteering at Lancers is unique because “her life-long love of horses is re-kindled every time I turn into the driveway on Bell Road. My other volunteer roles didn't have a horse component so there's no contest! When not volunteering, she enjoys going to the gym, playing trivia and crib (versus cribbing!).”
In the future, Carmel sees herself, over the next several years, “playing a role in increasing public awareness, access and value for horses in the lives of those who experience a variety of abilities, marginalization and building life skills”.
Thank you, Carmel, for playing such an important role at Lancers! We appreciate all of your hard work.