Wow – what a great event the 2015 Mane Event gala was – thanks to our wonderfully supportive sponsors and the caring guests who joined in the fun on Saturday, October 17th.  Many folks who attended said that it was one of the most enjoyable fund raising events they have attended in years.  We broke all previous records for both attendance and money raised.  This is a big reason that we were able to serve more people (110) at Free Rein this year – more than any other year in Free Rein’s 15 year history.Sabrina Shook

One of our student-rider’s Moms really conveyed the impacts that Free Rein makes in real peoples’ lives when she told the audience about what Free Rein has meant to her family and her daughter over the two shorts years her daughter has been participating.  She said that, “Free Rein is a place where her daughter said her first words and where people only talk about what she can do… and then help make it happen.”

DSC02805The Moon Shine Babies entertained Lois & Clark (and the rest of us) us with their beautiful music and Chef Craig made sure that we had great food to enjoy.  Duke and Bird (Duke Says Sold) brought their high-energy Board Members Porsha and Denise (small) “auctiontainment” that made giving fun for everyone.

Board members Porsha Smith and Denise Stretcher created and oversaw the Horse Hunger Games raffle, which pitted Team Lois and Team Clark in a battle of supporters to determine who would win the prize (no horses, real or stuffed, were harmed in the running of this raffle).

Guests had a wide selection of great live and silent auction items to choose from, including:

  • A French Broad Dinner Cruise (thanks to  Jaime’s Creole Brasserie, Down To Earth Kayaking, and Duckpond Pottery).
  • “Z’s and Zips” – an outdoor experience for two, including a night for two in a treehouse, zipline trips, and a picnic dinner provided by the Free Rein Board (thanks to Carl & Lois at Z-Z-Zip (Brevard’s #1 Outdoor Activity on TripAdvisor).
  • House concerts by the Moon Shine Babies.
  • VIP Maestro Package for a Brevard Music Center 2016 Season performance.
  • One of Paula Poad’s beautiful, emotionally engaging Untamed Horse sculptures.
  • An original oil painting by local artist Alana Merrell – a real rising young talent in the local art scene.
  • A Cocktail Cruise and custom gourmet dinner for four at one of our board member’s beautiful lakeside home in Connestee Falls.
  • A Mackinac Island getaway, including a night’s lodging, meals, a carriage ride, and more.
  • Rounds of golf, a one-hour airplane ride around our beautiful countryside, pet sitting services, beautiful artwork, massages, cooking classes, baskets full of fun, and lots more – there truly was something that almost everyone had to take home.


We are profoundly grateful for the generous support of the attendees, event sponsors, and those who donated auction items.  They combined to make this the most successful gala in Free Rein’s 15 year history, generating almost $38,000 to support the horses and programs at Free Rein and, more importantly, the people – young and older- that we serve.

Sponsors of the 2015 gala included the following.

Thanks also go out to the following businesses and individuals that provided auction items or in-kind support for the gala.

  • Alana Merrell ~ Annie “Mossin’ Annie” Martin ~ Barbara Walter ~ Big Mike’s ~ Blue Ridge Bakery ~ Bracken Mountain Bakery ~ Brad Butler ~ Brevard Brewing Co. ~ Brevard Music Center ~ Broad Street Wines ~ Brown Bean Coffee ~ Bullwinkles, Rocky’s, Moose Tracks ~ Charlie’s Tire Center ~ Connestee Falls Golf Club ~ Denise Jones ~ Dick Shulman ~ Donna Hunter ~ Dottie Hollum ~ Doug & Paula Poad ~ Down To Earth Kayaking ~ Downtown Chocolates ~Dr. G. Ruffin Benton, III ~ Duke & Bird at Duke Says Sold ~ Duckpond Pottery ~ Egolf Motors ~ Elements Spa ~ Falls Landing ~ Greg McCathern ~ Gretchen Colman ~ Hawg Wild ~ Headwaters Outfitters ~ Jaime’s Creole Brasserie ~ Jet’s Pizza ~ Judith and Peter Johnson ~ Kathy King ~ KeyLight Media, Albert Dulin ~ La Petite Spa ~ Lauren D’Alessandro ~ Kiwi Gelato ~ La Petite Spa ~ Looking Glass Entertainment ~ Lorraine Rourke ~ Love’s Jewelry ~ Lucinda Dulin ~ Main Street Ltd. ~ Mike Gressel ~ Moon Shine Babies ~ Mountain Quilts ~ Mud Dabbers Pottery & Crafts ~ Nancy Moak ~ Nancy Richards ~ Oskar Blues Brewery ~ Pat Dennis ~ Peter Mockridge ~ The Proper Pot ~ Ron Schleich ~ Shannon Rood ~ Sherwood Forest Golf Club ~ Sierra Nevada Brewery ~ Southern Appalachian Brewing ~ Spice It To A Tea ~ The Square Root ~ Tony’s Deli ~ The White Squirrel Shop ~ Z-Z- Zip/Carl & Lois Ganner

 Free Rein Center

P.O. Box 1325 Brevard, NC  28712
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