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Gillette Shell Food Marts, customers raise $2K for horse therapy center

"The Giving Pump" campaign raised $2,000 for a Gillette equine therapy center.

Ride & Shine Equine Assisted Therapy receives a check from Shell Food Mart. (Lindsey Thiel, Shell Food Mart)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Gillette’s Shell Food Marts Marketing Coordinator Lindsey Thiel announced today that “The Giving Pump” campaign raised $2,000 for a Gillette equine therapy center.

People who pumped gas at a designated gas pump, “The Giving Pump,” at Shell gas stations in Gillette in August and September supported Ride and Shine Equine Assisted Therapy. The price at the pump was the same as at the stations’ other pumps.

Thiel said in July that 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.

Ride and Shine Director and Physical Therapist Jamie Hendryx said in July that the fundraiser would support the organization’s general operations like renting the barn, transporting the horses and providing for the horses’ health, food and training. 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.

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

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