Higher Hopes holds final ride

| October 16, 2018

Higher Hopes wrapped up its final season with a Halloween Party on Oct. 15. Pictured on horseback is Riley Reveal, who has participated in the therapeutic horseback riding program for 11 years. His horse is being led by volunteer Olivia Ringenberg. Josie Sellers | Beacon

WARSAW – Higher Hopes has touched a lot of lives over the years, but it was time for the Roahrigs to say good-bye to the people who have become much more than clients.

“It’s bittersweet, but we are ready to start the next chapter of our lives,” said Tom. “We’ve watched a lot of people grow up here.”

He and his wife Peggy have operated their non-profit therapeutic riding center for children and adults in the community with disabilities for the past 20 years.

“These people have become much more than friends,” Peggy said. “They are family.”

They wrapped up their final riding season with a Halloween party on Oct. 15. Clients, their family and volunteers trick or treated on horseback and then enjoyed refreshments.

“He (Riley) is going to miss this,” said Cherie Reveal. “I think he started when he was 7-years-old so he’s been coming for about 11 years.”

During that time Reveal has seen the program have a big impact on her son.

“It’s impacted him socially, physically and mentally,” she said. “We’d like to find another group, but nothing is going to replace the friendships and family we’ve made here.”

Higher Hopes also has made an impact on people who came out to volunteer their time.

“I like helping others,” said Tina Stracke.

Kelsie Williamson also has enjoyed volunteering at Higher Hopes over the years.

“I came with my 4-H group and then started coming on my own,” she said. “I love seeing the kids. It’s a good experience for them.”

Williamson is a senior at River View High School and a member of the National Honor Society, which came to volunteer at Higher Hopes’ final ride.

“I’ve never been here before and didn’t know we had this here in the county,” said Paige Bemiller, a senior at River View. “I think it’s great that they are giving everyone the chance to ride too.”

The Halloween party was her first time ever on a horse.

“Everyone was so encouraging and nice,” Bemiller said.

That good feeling is exactly what Riley Reveal has enjoyed for the past 11 years.

“Life is hard, but here you have a good day,” he said.

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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