Never quit. Ever, and no matter the odds. In essence, that’s the message from Tabby, a success story of an equine therapy farm called Dogwood Ranch.
In her middle school years, she bounced from one foster home to the next and, naturally, it became difficult to trust anyone. That is, until she met the folks who run the Christian County non-profit that tries to steer teens toward a better future.
And look where Tabby is today – working a great job with her sights set on a nursing a degree, which will provide a promising future for her two young children.
Which is another way of saying that the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper is proud to assist Dogwood Ranch.
“It’s amazing how being around such a huge animal that it kind of makes you remember what trust is like,” Tabby said. “A lot of times when kids are in foster care, they go through so many parents that your sense of trust is extinguished. I never thought something that like would help me.”
Now here’s your chance to support Dogwood Ranch again through the Price Cutter golf tournament, a PGA Web.com Tour stop in August at Highland Springs Country Club. A year ago, the tournament raised a record $1 million-plus for local children’s charities.
SUPPORTING THE PCCC = SUPPORTING CHARITIES
- HELP DOGWOOD RANCH: A 501 c 3 non-profit, Dogwood Ranch is a community of foster homes that uses equine therapy to help teens build back trust, and also helps cover expenses for basic necessities once teens go on in life. Call 417-393-3493.
- FOR GOLF FANS, WIN PRIZES: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket serves as a four-day tournament pass, but it’s better than that. It enters you to win daily prizes during the tournament as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2015 Ford Mustang.
- TICKET REVENUE GOES WHERE: Contact the local charity of your choice, simply because they receive revenue directly from those TLC Property Charity Sweepstakes tickets marked with their names.
- BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the daily newsletter, website or through several events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Additionally, restaurants, clothing stores and entertainment stops and such are asked to donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball Charity Auction. Contact the PCCC staff at 417-887-3400.
- WHEN, WHERE: The tournament is Aug. 7-17 at Highland Springs Country Club, with the pros playing beginning Aug. 13.
About Dogwood Ranch
Brian Lopez and his bride, Dana, along with their parents, founded Dogwood Ranch in 2005 and launched it in 2007 after relocating from southern California to Ozark.
In fact, Dana left behind a great job at one of the top law firms in Los Angeles, while Brian pursued this dream of returning to familiar surroundings – after previously spending five years in the Branson area working for a non-profit.
“We have a real heart for troubled teens,” Lopez said. “And her parents always dreamed of helping kids who needed families as well. We were sitting around in California and one day said, ‘Let’s do this.’”
The idea is to provide long-term care to older youth in foster care who need a family to call their own. In addition, teens are encouraged to develop relationships with their peers, foster families, as well as the ranch’s horses. Building trust is key.
However, the assistance from Dogwood Ranch doesn’t end there. After the teens graduate from high school and transition on into the world, the ranch tries to provide funding for transitional needs such as an adequate vehicle, or vehicle repairs, furniture for apartments and other basic needs.
That’s where the PCCC’s donations come in.
“The goal is to make sure they get to and from work, and keep them working,” said Lopez, who along with Dana have adopted one teen and foster more than a dozen others.
For Tabby, Dogwood Ranch came into her life at an important time. The end result was that it inspired her to reach her potential and, in doing so, she found motivation to track down other siblings in the foster care system.
Ultimately, Tabby became a mom to two children and is now doing her best to make ends meet as a single mother. She has many aspirations and goals.
“I started in the foster care system when I was 5 years old and kind of bounced around from house to house before I met Brian and Dana,” Tabby said. “They pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, we know foster homes are temporary. But it’s time for you to get comfortable.’ At that time it hit me. They started getting me involved in training with the horses.
“It showed me what real family life was like.”
“The Ranch, as a family, they have done extraordinary things for me – things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.”