Charity spotlight: Dogwood Ranch

Brian Lopez and his bride, Dana, founded Dogwood Ranch along with their families.
Brian Lopez and his bride, Dana, founded Dogwood Ranch along with their families.

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, one of 43 charities in this year’s tournament. The PCCC has gifted almost $13 million to children’s charities in the past 26 years.

“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.”

About Dogwood Ranch

DogwoodRanch-silhouette

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.

Building trust is key for the teens at Dogwood Ranch.
Building trust is key for the teens at Dogwood Ranch.

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.”

She continued.

“The Ranch, as a family, they have done extraordinary things for me – things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.”

RISING STARS, RAISING HOPES

  • BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the skyboxes on the 9th and 18th greens (with food badges), on-course signage and events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Businesses also can 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 presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza.

    The Ultimate sponsorship means air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray.
    The Ultimate sponsorship means air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray.
  • WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.

    Win this truck or $10,000 in the TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes, with a $25 buy-in.
    Win this truck or $10,000 in the TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes, with a $25 buy-in.
  • SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400.

    Dawie vander Walt shows his winners trophy after the final round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield on August 16, 2015.
    Dawie vander Walt won the 2015 PCCC. (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia)
  • HELP DOGWOOD RANCH: A 501c-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.

At Dogwood Ranch, building trust is key for troubled teens

DogwoodRanch-silhouette

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

Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity -- and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
Buy a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket and all the money goes to your favorite charity — and you also could win this 2015 Ford Mustang.
  • 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, founded Dogwood Ranch along with their families.
Brian Lopez and his bride, Dana, founded Dogwood Ranch along with their families.

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.

Building trust is key for the teens at Dogwood Ranch.
Building trust is key for the teens at Dogwood Ranch.

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.

The ultimate trust is between a teen and horse at Dogwood Ranch.
The ultimate trust is between a teen and horse.

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.”

She continued.

“The Ranch, as a family, they have done extraordinary things for me – things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.”