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Shell Food Marts in Gillette to fundraise for Ride and Shine

Starting in August, people who get gas at a designated pump at Shell gas stations in Gillette will be supporting a local equine therapy center, Shell announced today.

The Boys & Girls Club of Campbell County received donations in a past year through the Shell Food Marts fundraiser. (Lindsey Thiel)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Starting in August, people who get gas at a designated pump at Shell gas stations in Gillette will be supporting a local equine therapy center, Shell announced today.

Shell Food Marts are partnering with Shell USA for “The Giving Pump” to support local communities, according to a news release. From Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, a portion of purchases customers make at a specific pump that has colorful signage will support Ride and Shine Equine Assisted Therapy. The price at this pump will be the same as at the other pumps.

A flier said consumers will be donating 1 cent per gallon to the organization by using the pumps at Gillette’s Shell stations, located at 106 N. Highway 14-16 and 10800 Highway 59.

The Giving Pump from a past year in Gillette. (Lindsey Thiel)

Gillette’s Shell Food Marts Marketing Coordinator Lindsey Thiel said Shell Food Marts are now the only locally owned convenience stores in Gillette. The first store opened in 1999 and the second location opened in 2000.

“Being locally owned allows us to give back to our community in more meaningful ways,” she said. “We especially love to support the youth in the community, which is why this year we chose Ride and Shine Equine-Assisted Therapy.”

The Giving Pump started three years ago, and Gillette has been a part of it since the beginning, Thiel said. The previous recipients were the Boys & Girls Club of Campbell County and Blessings in a Backpack. Shell Food Marts also support Gillette Hockey Association, Gillette Little League and Gillette Riders Baseball.

Ride and Shine’s physical therapists work alongside horses, volunteers and clients to achieve their individualized therapy goals, Thiel said.

The organization is also among the participants in this year’s WyoGives online fundraiser.

Ride and Shine Director and physical therapist Jamie Hendryx said that the fundraiser will support the organization’s general operations like renting the barn, transporting the horses and providing for the health, food and training for the horses. Campbell County families donated the horses. The operation is all volunteer; Hendryx is paid through her work at Rehab Solutions, which the organization partners with to provide the therapy.

If there are funds left over through Shell’s fundraiser, those will help provide a scholarship for a child who needs physical therapy, Hendryx said. There’s an additional $50 fee for therapy sessions that include a horse to offset the costs of care and maintenance for the horses. Her dream is to ultimately have her own facility so they can provide additional hours beyond the Tuesday offerings they’re limited to presently. At that point, they’d also offer mental and emotional health services through equine therapy. The nonprofit organization has been operating for six years.

She said she was shocked and humbled that Shell chose her organization.

“It confirmed that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing,” she said.

She said that she’s found that equine therapy has helped children walk when their parents were told the child would never walk. For example, one patient who was solely able to crawl is now able to walk. One of the biggest changes is the confidence of the children.

Most riders are pediatric patients, but there are some adults, too, Hendryx said. The challenge for adults is mounting the horse. She hopes to someday be able to have the equipment to enable patients who have to use wheelchairs to be able to get on the horses.

Campbell County provided 1% funding for the first time this year for the organization’s scholarship fund, which will offset costs to clients, she said.

More than 7,500 Shell stations across the U.S. are participating in this two-month Giving Pump initiative to support local communities. Through “The Giving Pump,” Shell wholesalers and retailers have donated over $4.7 million and supported over 500 charities. More information and a list of participating sites is available at shell.us/givingpump.

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