Surprise entertainment and a visit by Santa Clause added to the fun at the annual riders awards presented during the 19th annual Pegasus Riders Luncheon Dec. 15 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa.
Members of the KVER Univision News Team welcomed guests and introduced the surprise entertainment in both Spanish and English.
Dr. Ruthanna Metzger, president of “SongShine” Foundation, a vocal therapy program for those with voice disorders caused by neurological disorders, stroke, brain injuries, and aging, performed with Peter Harris, associate director of Coachella Valley/Palm Desert SongShine, and Hannah Yagoubian, who was lead violinist. They played “Ode To Joy” from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and were joined on stage by the Sun City Singers under direction of Delphine Sexton.
Singers were Ann McNeel, Jim Roberts, Sexton, Arlene Pederson, Susan Armour, Marilyn Boyette, Dale Thompson, Fredi Shalita, Claire Dosier, Curt Humphrey, Shari Hof, Mila Reboton, Jill Lewis, Carolyn Manchester, Cheryl Waymire, Coleen Stroud and Connie Bannon. This was followed by a rousing chorus of “Santa Clause is Coming To Town” performed by the choirs of Cathedral City High School and Shadow Hills Choral & Choir Group — each with more than 50 singers-plus singers from Nellie N. Coffman Middle School. They started on stage but then walked throughout the ballroom singing — to the delight of the young riders and guests present.
Curt Campbell gave a heartfelt pitch for the need of an enclosed ring with air conditioning so that those who are handicapped will have the benefit of Pegasus therapeutic riding in the summer as well as winter. He pledged $1,000 toward that endeavor and asked, “Are you ready to go on a gentle adventure with me?” He immediately raised close to $10,000 toward a goal of $50,000.
Lori Sarner, president of Pegasus Riding Academy serving the needs of the handicapped, spoke of the accomplishments of rider Ryan Gunnerson, Pegasus Rider of the Year, while Chase Berke introduced the 2013-2014 Family of the Year — the Cortes Family with rider Sergio Cortes. Co-chairs of the luncheon, introduced by Sarner, were Chase Berke and Karen Renberg.
“These women are hard workers who never stop,” Sarner said.
Auction chair was Albeth Paris Grass. Following luncheon, special awards were given to each of the handicapped riders in the Pegasus program.