Tag Archives: Talisman Farm



On May 3rd a long ago Centreville icon will once again make an appearance at the Derby Alive! Event, benefiting Talisman Therapeutic Riding at the historic Talisman Farm in Grasonville. The antique full-sized horse model dates back at least as long as the Derby itself that has run for the past 140 years.

He once stood in front of what is now Callahan’s Gas and Appliance in Centreville to advertise the family’s carriage business, Callahan’s of Centreville.  His frame is of undetermined material but he is covered in leather that now shows its age.  Despite his weathered appearance, each year the horse greets guests at the annual event, sporting a blanket of realistic-looking roses.

“The Derby winner always wears a blanket of roses,” said Allison Moffatt, the creator of the blanket.  “Our horse is a winner every year and is entitled to the same.”

Mark Callahan and four of his employees deliver the horse each year the annual event. When they move him from his year round home, the horse is protected by body pillows and plastic.

After they take a chance on the this year’s Derby winner, guests sporting their Derby hats and mint juleps rotate through to be photographed with the picturesque horse.

The event will take place on May 3rd from 4-8:00 pm. The ticket price of $85 includes dinner, mint juleps and premium bourbon tasting, rider demonstrations, live broadcast of the Run for the Roses, and silent and live auctions. To purchase tickets go to www.talismantherapeuticriding.org or call 443-239-9400.

Sears’ Heroes at Home Program, Rebuilding Together Queen Anne’s County, MD Affiliate Starts Renovations this spring for the Military Community

Sears Heroes at Home program, which includes a collaboration between Sears Holdings and Rebuilding Together, announced the beginning of their spring 2013 Heroes at Home projects. Heroes at Home projects are key initiatives for Rebuilding Together, a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that believes Community Starts at Home, and strive to improve the lives of the military and their families through extensive home rehabilitations.

Rebuilding Together Queen Anne’s County, MD is partnering with Talisman Therapeutic Riding (TTR), another not-for-profit organization in our county, who provides therapeutic riding services to wounded warriors and service disabled Veterans. Grant money awarded will be used to rehabilitate a cottage on the TTR grounds on Perry Corner Rd, Grasonville, MD for use by these brave men and women and their families while engaged in rehabilitative programs.

Therapeutic riding has been used by Warrior in Transition Units (WTU) throughout the country to deliver care to injured service personnel. In developing the program at TTR, Command Leaders at both the WTU at Ft. Meade, MD and the National Medical Center (formerly Walter Reed Hospital) in Bethesda, MD expressed great interest in increasing the use of the program at a facility that could accommodate service personnel and their families for a weekend or even a weeklong program, delivering more treatment sessions in a relaxing setting for the combat hero and family and engaging all of them in the healing process. No existing facility currently provides this service but TTR knew it potentially could because of its size and location. In 2012, TTR won a direct grant from the Wounded Warrior Project that covers program costs for service disabled personnel who enroll in this program and they are ready to begin transforming some of the buildings that exist on their property into living space for their “Heroes on Horses” program.

The Queen Anne’s County Affiliate of Rebuilding Together is working with TTR in a unique and synergistic partnership to directly benefit America’s bravest and their families. We identified a one story, two bedroom farm cottage on the grounds at TTR that, in the course of 3-6 weeks, could be transformed into a comfortable, short term home for future TTR Heroes on Horses clients and their families.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with TTR because this will provide an opportunity for service members with disabilities to spend time in a setting that will amplify their therapeutic experience. This will be the only riding academy in the Northeast with housing for clients and we are certain that the military will send many clients to this extraordinary program that was made possible by the generosity of Sears and national Rebuilding Together” said Wes Bodin, President of the Queen Anne’s County Affiliate of Rebuilding Together.

This project will start with volunteer professional roofers replacing the roof of the cottage, followed by another volunteer professional contractor replacing the old windows. Additional contractors have volunteered to make this cottage ‘handicap accessible’ by expanding all existing doors and doorways. When this is completed, additional professional and less-skilled volunteers will cover the cottage in siding that was donated by a local merchant. More volunteers will work on the rest of the home, including the kitchen, bathroom, living room and two bedrooms. Overall, more than 70 volunteers, both highly skilled and less-skilled, from Rebuilding Together and Sears will complete the renewal of this cottage, making it safe, warm and dry for its future residents. “We are so grateful to our local community of both professional and less-skilled people who are so willing and ready to help with this project” said Wes Bodin.

“Heroes at Home is a terrific opportunity for us to give back to the men and women who have given so much to our country,” said John L Fiegel, interim president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. “Rebuilding Together and Sears work to ensure that our veterans can return to a safe, healthy, and accessible home.”

Heroes at Home projects are scheduled to be completed in more than 75 cities across the country. The projects include renovations for veterans who are unable to live in their current home conditions, due to injuries or obstacles that threaten their avenue to a safe and accessible home.

“Sears Heroes at Home program allows our associates, SHOP YOUR WAY REWARDS℠ Members and customers the opportunity to participate not only in the rebuilding of homes, but also in the transformation of lives,” said Ron Boire, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer and president, Sears and Kmart Formats. “It is our collective honor to assist America’s veterans and their families, who have given so much to protect our freedom, by providing the resources necessary so that they can improve their living conditions.”

To date, Sears Holdings has raised nearly $17 million for Heroes at Home through a nationwide in-store fund-raising campaign. This is one of the hundreds of projects made possible by these donations. Rebuilding Together has completed more than 1,100 projects for veteran homeowners across the country. The success of this program is only expected to rise as more projects are completed.

Heroes at Home spring rebuilds will begin in March and conclude in June.

Queen Anne’s County Affiliate of Rebuilding Together is an all volunteer organization working to improve the living conditions of our neediest residents. We help low income elderly and/or disabled homeowners living in Queen Anne’s County to keep their homes safe, healthy, warm and dry. Our volunteers come from all parts of our County, including churches, social groups and businesses.
About Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that believes Community Starts at Home. Our focus provides critical repairs, accessibility modifications and energy efficient upgrades to low-income homes and community centers at no cost to service recipients. Our impact extends beyond the individuals served to revitalize and stabilize vulnerable neighborhoods and communities across the country. Our nearly 200 local affiliates complete approximately 10,000 rebuild projects a year thanks to the efforts of 200,000 volunteers from corporate partners, skilled trade professionals and everyday good citizens. Join us — visit www.RebuildingTogether.org.

About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is a leading integrated retailer with over 2,500 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada and the home of SHOP YOUR WAY, a social shopping experience where members have the ability to earn points and receive benefits across a wide variety of physical and digital formats through ShopYourWay.com. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, fitness equipment and automotive repair and maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, with a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands’ End, the Kardashian Kollection, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as Sofia by Sofia Vergara and The Country Living Home Collection. We are the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 15 million service and installation calls made annually and have a long-established commitment to those who serve in the military through initiatives like the Heroes at Home program. We have been named the 2011 Mobile Retailer of the Year, Recipient of the 2013 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year “Sustained Excellence Award” for Product Retailing and Energy Management and one of the Top 20 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings’ website at www.searsholdings.com. Twitter: @searsholdings | |Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SHCCareers


Lend A Hand- Meet Don Avery: Leading a Horse and Changing a Life

By Avra Sullivan

rocky2a (400 x 360)Don Avery learned to ride as a boy growing up in Syracuse, New York. Since then his love of horses and his belief in their healing attributes has endured. An avid supporter of therapeutic riding, Don has volunteered at facilities in a variety of ways from mucking stalls to serving on two boards of directors. In 2012 Don became involved with the Talisman Therapeutic Riding Program based out of the Talisman Farm in Grasonville.

At Talisman, Don wears a variety of hats. He assists in lessons by leading the horses or as a side walker and performs general horse care around the farm. He works with riders from age four through adults who suffer from an array of physical and developmental disabilities including cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome, stroke and muscular diseases.

Out of the saddle, Don is part of the leadership team for Talisman’s Equine Assisted Learning programs. These programs are experiential exercises done on the ground, helping riders develop a one-on-one relationship with their horses. Don also helps train new volunteers in basic horse care, horse behavior and working with the special needs of the riders at Talisman.

Don says the impact he has seen during his time at Talisman is amazing. He has witnessed non-verbal children speak their first word when telling a horse to “whoa” and individuals who were almost completely immobile gain a level of independence astride a horse. “We have seen the blossoming of personality and emotion where there had been only dullness before. The horse is an amazing therapy partner that is nonjudgmental, nurturing, protective and honest.”

Don adds, “Personally, I delight in the achievements of those I work with. My sense of well being increases as a teen realizes there is hope, when a senior becomes aware they are still of value, or when another volunteer has an “ah-ha” moment. I delight too when one of my horse friends draws out the hidden secret a client has been suffering with.” Don is a retired naval officer and Viet Nam era veteran. He enjoys sailing, playing the piano and organ and has two children and four grandchildren.

Talisman Farm is a non-profit organization offering therapeutic programs for children and adults with disabilities as well as teens directed by community organizations or the courts. With needs for up to four individuals per lesson and for help with farm care, maintenance and horse care, there is a volunteer opportunity for anyone. Talisman Farm will train all new volunteers. Learn more by visiting their website at www.talismantherapeuticriding.org or by calling 410-239-9400.